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Economy in Brief

Challenger Layoffs Increase Slightly
by Tom Moeller April 01,2010

According to the outplacement firm of Challenger, Grey & Christmas, the level of layoffs rose slightly last week to 67,611. However, that was still near the lowest level since mid-2006 and well under the recent high of 241,748 in January of last year. The government, computer and the entertainment/media industries posted the largest weekly gains followed by the retail and industries. These gains were offset by sharply lower announcements in the electronics, pharmaceutical, services and consumer goods industries.

Challenger also samples firms' hiring plans. During March plans increased and made up just some of the declines during the prior two weeks.

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

Restoring Credit to Communities is yesterday's speech by Fed Governor Elizabeth A. Duke and it can be found here.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas March February January Y/Y 2009 2008 2007
Announced Job Cuts 67,611 42,090 71,482 -55.0% 1,288,030 1,223,993 768,264
Announced Hiring Plans 13,994 8,300 31,381 -27.5 272,573 118,600 365,583
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