Photo by Bryan Woolston, Reuters
In economic downturns, low-income workers are usually the first to be affected, but recent increases in US unemployment insurance claims have been more widespread.
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Comparing the Census Household Pulse Survey between March 29 and April 10, 2022 to a similar week in the year of the survey, we can see that the number of UI applications by Americans earning more than $200,000 has increased by about 500%. In the same time period last year, Americans earning this level of income applied for their first UI. This number is now 113,800.
The trend was also evident in the earnings announcements. The Wall Street Journal reported that after eliminating 500 corporate jobs in September last year, Gap intends to cut even more positions on the retail side.
3M plans to reduce the size of the corporate center, a reduction that will be accompanied by 6,000 layoffs worldwide.
According to a memo sent this month to employees, Amazon's Whole Foods Market has laid off several hundred corporate workers who made up less than 0.5% of the company's total workforce. The memo stated that layoffs would not affect distribution center employees or close any stores.
General Motors had planned to reduce the number of employees and executives on a salary basis earlier this year. The company avoided layoffs after 5,000 white-collar employees bought out their buyouts.
It is also important to note that companies such as carmakers must continue to meet consumer demands while cutting costs.