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Economy in Brief

U.S. Challenger Reports Widespread Increase In Job Cut Announcements
by Tom Moeller  October 5, 2011

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Grey & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during September surged following their August dip. The jump to 115,730 left them more-than double last year. The jump in announcements was led by the government (military), transportation, financial, energy, health care and industrial goods industries. 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 improved moderately and rose to 76,551. That was the highest level since last October. The retail and insurance industries showed the bulk of the gain.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Sep Aug Jul Y/Y% 2010 2009 2008
Announced Job Cuts 115,730 51,114 66,414 211.5 529,973 1,288,030 1,223,993
Announced Hiring Plans 76,551 15,201 10,706 -37.8 402,638 272,573 118,600
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