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Economy in Brief

Challenger Indicates A Jump in Job Cuts
by Tom Moeller February 2, 2012

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Grey & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during January rebounded to the highest level since September. The rise centered in the retail, pharmaceutical, food, entertainment/leisure, apparel and energy 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 and they halved m/m to 7,568. Hiring fell again in the financial, government, health care, pharmaceutical, retail and services industries.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Jan Dec Nov Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Announced Job Cuts 53,486 41,785 42,474 38.9 606,082 529,973 1,288,030
Announced Hiring Plans 7,568 14,074 63,527 -74.3 537,572 402,638 272,573
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