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Economy in Brief

Challenger Layoffs Surged
by Tom Moeller October 5, 2004

Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that announced job cuts surged 45.5% in September following moderate gains in four of the prior five months. The increase to 107,863 was to the highest level since January.

The three month moving average of job cut announcements rose to 83,862 (+4.2% 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.

Announced hiring plans in September slipped sharply after having surged in August. The series dates back only to May.

"Why Are We Losing Manufacturing Jobs?" from the federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland can be found here.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Sep Aug Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Announced Job Cuts 107,863 74,150 41.0% 1,236,426 1,431,052 1,956,876
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