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Economy in Brief

Challenger Layoffs Up Again
by Tom Moeller September 8, 2004

Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that announced job cuts rose another 6.6% in August on top of an 8.1% rise the prior month. The increase to 74,150 was to the highest level since February.

The three month moving average of job cut announcements rose modestly to 69,355 (-7.4% y/y).

During the last ten years there has been an 86% (inverse) correlation between the three month moving average of announced job cuts and the three month change payroll employment.

Job cut announcements differ from layoffs. Many are achieved through attrition, early retirement or just never occur.

A new series from Challenger indicated that announced hiring plans in August surged to a multiple of intentions for July. The series dates back only to May.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Aug July Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Announced Job Cuts 74,150 69,572 -7.2% 1,236,426 1,431,052 1,956,876
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