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Economy in Brief

U.S. Challenger Job Cut Announcements Slip
by Tom Moeller  August 31, 2011

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Grey & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during August fell back following their July surge. The decline to 51,114 nevertheless left them up 47.0% from last August. The uptick in announcements was led by the government, financial, industrial goods and entertainment/leisure industries. In most other industries the level of job cut announcements fell. During the last ten years there has been a 67% 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 reversed its July deterioration and rose to 15,201. That remained, however, still near the recovery low. The automotive, education, retail and services industries showed the largest improvements this month.

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

Local Hangovers: How the Housing Boom and Bust Affected Jobs in Metro Areas from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Aug Jul Jun Y/Y % 2010 2009 2008
Announced Job Cuts 51,114 66,414 41,432 47.0 529,973 1,288,030 1,223,993
Announced Hiring Plans 15,201 10,706 15,498 8.0 402,638 272,573 118,600
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