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David Smith Shares Insights on Corporate Refinancing and Job Layoffs in Barron’s

As 2023 ends, major corporations like Cruise, General Motors' self-driving car developer, are announcing significant job cuts, fueling speculation about a potential wave of layoffs in 2024. Cruise recently revealed plans to eliminate 900 jobs, joining other companies like Hasbro, Etsy, and Spotify in reducing their workforce. The looming threat of corporate debt, with $790 billion set to mature in the coming year, has led to concerns about layoffs. 

However, economists, including Pepperdine Graziadio faculty member David Smith, suggest that while corporate refinancing poses a challenge, widespread job cuts may not materialize due to government investments, the aftermath of labor shortages, and proactive measures taken by companies to strengthen their finances. With the U.S. labor market showing resilience and the fiscal spending from laws like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law still in effect, the potential impact of increased interest rates on job markets may be mitigated. 

The positive momentum in the labor market is further supported by consumer and business sentiment, with indicators like the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index and the Business Roundtable survey suggesting optimism about workforce expansion in 2024. 

Despite the challenges, economists believe the tight labor market is here to stay, ushering in a new era of employment conditions.

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