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Economy in Brief

Challenger Reports Few Job Cuts
by Tom Moeller November 30, 2011

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Grey & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during November remained low at 42,474, roughly the same as October's 42,759. The latest figure was the lowest since June. The low level of announcements reflected no cuts in the automotive, chemical or apparel industries and fewer layoffs in the electronics, energy, entertainment/leisure, gov't/nonprofit, health care, insurance, industrial goods, pharmaceutical, retail, services, telecommunications and transportation industries. 

Increases were logged by the commodities, computer, education, financial, food and legal 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 pulled back to 63,527 following the October surge. Hiring rose in the automotive, computer, financial and industrial goods industries. In many industries, however, there no plans to hire.

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

Aggregate Demand and the Global Economic Recovery is yesterday's speech by Fed Vice Chairman Janet L. Yellen and it can be found here.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Nov Oct Sep Y/Y% 2010 2009 2008
Announced Job Cuts 42,474 42,759 115,730 -12.8 529,973 1,288,030 1,223,993
Announced Hiring Plans 63,527 159,177 76,551 144.2 402,638 272,573 118,600
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