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Economy in Brief

Challenger Layoffs Pick Up Slightly Last Month But Remain Moderate
by Tom Moeller August 5, 2009

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Grey & Christmas indicated that job cut announcements picked up last month. They rose to 97,373 versus the 74,373 jobs lost during June. Nevertheless, the figures remain well below this cycle's peak level of layoffs which occurred this past January when there were 241,749 cuts. Challenger also reported that announced hiring plans remained near the cycle low.

Announcement of job cuts in the chemical, energy, telecommunications, transportation and financial sectors remained strong. Shallower declines elsewhere were broad-based including the auto, consumer goods, computer, electronics, government, retail and services.

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.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas July June Y/Y 2008 2007 2006
Announced Job Cuts 97,373 74,373 -9.0% 1,223,993 768,264 839,822
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