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Economy in Brief

Challenger Layoffs Eased Somewhat
by Tom Moeller March 4, 2009

Challenger, Grey & Christmas reported that February job cut announcements eased slightly to 186,350 following 241,749 layoffs during January. Challenger also reported that announced hiring plans reversed much of the strong January gain.

Job cut announcements in the automotive sector surged to 61,288 and the financial business shed 13,550 jobs. Employment in the retail industry fell 18,759. Employment in the industrial goods industry again was quite weak and 19,462 jobs were lost while 3,960 were shed from the computer industry. From the pharmaceutical industry there were 8,806 layoffs and the electronics industry shed another 11,065 jobs

During the last ten years there has been a 67% (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.

The Challenger figures are available in Haver's SURVEYS database.

The Term Structure of Inflation Expectations from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas February January Y/Y 2008 2007 2006
Announced Job Cuts 186,350 241,749 158.5% 1,223,993 768,264 839,822
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