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Economy in Brief

Challenger Layoffs Up Again in December
by Tom Moeller January 6, 2006

Challenger, Grey & Christmas reported that job cut announcements in December rose for the fourth consecutive month. The 8.6% rise versus November to 107,822 pulled the three month average of job cut announcements up to 96,134 (-8.6% y/y).

For the year, job cut announcement rose 3.1%, the first annual increase since 2001.

An increased level of job cuts in government dominated the December report. Declines in layoff announcements were widespread throughout other industries.

During the last ten years there has been an 84% (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.

Challenger also reported a sharp m/m drop in announced hiring plans (102.1% y/y).

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Dec Nov Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Announced Job Cuts 107,822 99,279 -1.3% 1,072,054 1,039,935 1,236,426
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