In Focus: China Layoffs, State of U.S. Labor Market

By Dana Wilkie Mar 4, 2016

This week, China announced it expects to lay off 1.8 million workers in its coal and steel industries, about 15 percent of the workforce. And there is talk that this is just the first wave of layoffs that could affect as many as 6 million workers.
(CBC News)

China commences its once-a-year parliamentary session this weekend to map out plans for dealing with a wobbling economy and worries the ruling Communist Party is losing its credibility as a competent manager .Overhanging this year's sitting are concerns about the social impact of deep structural reforms in the world's second-largest economy, gyrating financial markets and deteriorating global trade.

Here in the U.S., despite strong holiday sales at the end of 2015, retailers announced their starkest downsizing plans in seven years, pushing layoffs in January 2016 to 75,144. This January’s layoffs are 42 percent higher than the total from January 2015.
(SHRM Online)

Despite that sobering news, labor market experts at Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. forecast that, overall, there will be fewer layoffs, more hiring and increased wages in 2016.
(SHRM Online)

Conducting a layoff is a difficult process that some businesses may have to face. The basic compliance components to review during the layoff/RIF process are outlined here.
(SHRM Online)

Dana Wilkie is an online editor/manager for SHRM.


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