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Economy in Brief

Challenger Layoffs Down Sharply
by Tom Moeller March 2, 2006

Challenger, Grey & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during February fell 15.5% (-19.3% y/y) to 87,437, the lowest level since October.

Layoffs in the auto industry fell sharply from the heated January pace but still were more than double the prior February's level. Announced job cuts in government rose 11.6% to a level more than double the prior February while layoffs in the financial industry surged m/m to a level more than double the prior year.

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 the third consecutive m/m drop in announced hiring plans (-69.2% y/y).

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Feb Jan Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Announced Job Cuts 87,437 103,466 -19.3% 1,072,054 1,039,935 1,236,426
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