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Economy in Brief

Challenger Indicates Smaller Decline in Jobs
by Tom Moeller March 3,2010

Labor market deterioration eased considerably last month, according to the outplacement firm of Challenger, Grey & Christmas. Their measure of job cut announcements fell to 42,090 which was the least since mid-2006 and well below the recent high of 241,748 in January of last year. Layoffs eased in the retail, financial, services, telecommunications and transportation industries.

Challenger also samples firms' hiring plans. During February plans fell sharply m/m to nearly the slimmest of the recession. Plans fell in the automotive, chemical, entertainment/leisure, financial and services industries though they jumped in electronics.

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 in 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 Unemployment Gender Gap during the 2007 Recession from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York can be found here here.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas February January December Y/Y 2009 2008 2007
Announced Job Cuts 42,090 71,482 45,094 -77.4% 1,288,030 1,223,993 768,264
Announced Hiring Plans 8,300 31,381 35,592 -44.6 272,573 118,600 365,583
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