U.S. employers cut fewer jobs in 2017, bringing the total number of job cuts in the country to levels not seen since 1990, according to a report released Thursday.
The report, from the consulting firm Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, noted that the total number of job cuts in 2017 amounted to 418,770 — a 20 percent drop from 2016.
The number of job cuts in the U.S. reached its lowest level since 1990 when companies announced plans to slash 316,047 jobs.
“The tight labor market, coupled with uncertainty surrounding health care, and tax legislation, possibly kept employers from making any long-term staffing decisions this year,” Challenger, Gray, & Christmas CEO John Challenger said in a statement.
Instead of firing employees, U.S. businesses added 250,000 jobs in December—the largest hiring increase in nine months.
Despite the increase in employers holding on to their employees, Challenger cautioned that there might be more job cut announcements in 2018 “as companies realign with consumer demand.”
But the passage of the tax reform bill may cause an increase in hiring in 2018. Employers say they plan to add 1.1 million new employees to their rosters — a 27 percent increase from last year.
Employers are already providing incentives for employees to stay with their companies — more than 100 U.S. employers announced Thursday that they would be giving their employees bonuses, increasing their wages, or contributing money to their 401(k) accounts.