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Economy in Brief

U.S. Challenger Layoffs Near Lowest Since 2000
by Tom Moeller  May 4, 2011

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Grey & Christmas reported that layoffs during April fell back to 36,490, nearly the lowest level since June, 2000. The decline in layoffs was led by the government, legal, media, electronics, industrial goods, apparel, construction and pharmaceutical industries. Layoffs rose elsewhere, notably in aerospace/defense, entertainment/leisure, services and transportation. 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.

Challenger also samples firms' hiring plans which rose to 59,648.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Apr Mar Feb Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Announced Job Cuts 36,490 41,528 50,702 -4.8% 529,973 1,288,030 1,223,993
Announced Hiring Plans 59,648 10,869 72,581 281.0% 402,638 272,573 118,600
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