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Layoffs surged in February as shift to AI grows

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The pace of job cuts by American employers accelerated notably in February, marking the highest level of layoffs for the month since 2009.

The report revealed that companies planned a staggering 84,638 job cuts in February, signifying a 3% increase from the previous month and a significant 9% surge compared to the same period last year.

This spike in layoffs underscores the mounting challenges faced by businesses amidst persistent inflationary pressures and elevated interest rates.

Andy Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, emphasized the profound impact of technological advancements on reshaping staffing needs.

“As we navigate the start of 2024, we’re witnessing a persistent wave of layoffs. Businesses are aggressively slashing costs and embracing technological innovations.”

Job losses

The technology sector bore the brunt of these job losses, with 12,412 employees laid off in February alone, contributing to a total loss of 28,218 jobs since the beginning of the year.

Financial firms followed suit with 26,856 layoffs since the start of 2024, marking a striking 54% increase compared to the same period last year.

Industrial goods manufacturing companies and energy firms also experienced a notable surge in layoffs, slashing 7,806 and 1,059% more positions respectively compared to last year.

Meanwhile, the education sector saw a significant increase in layoffs, trimming 6,336 positions in February, a stark rise from the 607 layoffs announced during the same period in 2023.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Workers rush back to their desks over job fears

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Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

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Money

Why resilient economy is fuelling demand for Australian property

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Despite inflationary pressures, Australian house prices have surged to a record high for the fifth month in a row, as indicated by CoreLogic data.

Australian house prices have not only weathered inflation but have also soared to unprecedented levels, marking the fifth consecutive month of record highs, according to data from CoreLogic.

This resilience reflects the enduring demand for property in the country, showcasing the sustained interest of buyers despite challenging economic conditions.

VentureCrowd’s Head of Property, David Whitting, talks how investors can access alternative ways of property investing.

Presented by VentureCrowd #funding futures #housing #economy

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Three reasons why you don’t need to panic about inflation

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Inflation in the US has exceeded expectations for the third consecutive month, driven by increases in essential commodities such as oil, electricity, takeaway food, and medical costs.

  1. Despite a 3.8% year-on-year rise in CPI, it’s notable that this figure has decreased from its previous 9% high.
  2. The robust CPI and economic growth numbers suggest a positive outlook for US corporate earnings.
  3. The S&P500 has seen five 1% drops this year, all of which were met with investors buying the dip.

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