May 13, 2022 - Economy & Business

Corporate America is tightening its belt

Illustration of measuring tape wrapped around a briefcase

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Companies are shedding workers as they adjust to a new post-pandemic normal.

Why it matters: The upper hand that workers have gained over the past two years may be on the verge of weakening as economic uncertainty sets in.

Catch up quick: Used car dealer Carvana this week laid off 12% of its employees due to a slowdown in business. 

  • Collectively, Robinhood and Peloton are making thousands of cuts this year, as the popularity of their products has faded
  • Thrasio, a buzzy e-commerce startup, replaced its CEO and reportedly is planning to cut up to 20% of its staff, according to Insider.

Between the lines: Businesses that grew too quickly during the pandemic are having to cut back because economic conditions have changed so much.

  • Investors, similarly, have been recalibrating their own projections, causing markets to spin wildly

The big picture: Through April, this has been the lowest start to the year in terms of total layoffs in the country since 1993, Andrew Challenger, senior vice president at outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, tells Axios.

Yes, but: “I am getting prepared to be busier the next few months,” Challenger says.

  • “Labor’s always a kind of slow [and] lagging indicator of what’s happening in the overall economy,” he added.

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