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Economy in Brief

Challenger Reports Fewer Job Cuts
by Tom Moeller January 5, 2012

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Grey & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during December slipped to a six-month low of 41,785 from November's 42,474. The latest figure was the lowest since June. The low level of announcements reflected far fewer cuts in the computer, energy, entertainment/leisure, food, government & utility industries. Increases were logged by the apparel, automotive, chemical, electronics, financial, health care and industrial goods industries. For all of 2011, howerer, job cut announcements rose.

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 fell sharply to 14,074. Hiring fell again in the automotive, computer, financial and industrial goods industries.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Dec Nov Oct Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Announced Job Cuts 41,785 42,474 42,759 30.6 606,082 529,973 1,288,030
Announced Hiring Plans 14,074 63,527 159,177 33.1 537,572 402,638 272,573
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