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Economy in Brief

Challenger Job Cut Announcements Pull Back
by Tom Moeller  October 3, 2013

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that 40,289 job cuts (19.1% y/y) were announced during September. The decline from 50,462 in August reflected fewer layoffs in the industrial goods, computer, electronics, food, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, transportation, chemical and media industries. Offsetting these declines were increased layoffs in the financial, aerospace/defense, health care, insurance, retail, automotive, commodities, entertainment/leisure, government/nonprofit, services, utility and real estate 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 shot up, as they did last year, due to increased hiring in the retail industry. Smaller increases were logged in the health care, automotive, consumer products, education, and utility industries.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Sep Aug Jul Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Announced Job Cuts 40,289 50,462 37,701 19.1 523,362 606,082 529,973
Announced Hiring Plans 444,617 7,662 9,728 4.4 630,447 537,572 402,638
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