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Economy in Brief

Challenger Job Cut Announcements Decline to Lowest Level Since 2000
by Tom Moeller  January 9, 2014

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that job cut announcements fell to 30,623 (-5.9% y/y) during December. It was the lowest level since June 2000. Layoffs fell m/m the retail, transportation, food, energy, media, services, aerospace, commodities, education, entertainment/leisure, health care, pharmaceutical and industrial goods industries. These were offset by increases in the computer, consumer products, automotive, chemical, government and telecommunications industries.

During the last five years there has been a 75% correlation between the level of job cut announcements and the m/m change in household unemployment.

Challenger also samples firms' hiring plans. They fell to 11,362 due to sharp pullbacks in the insurance, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, electronics, apparel, consumer products, financial and industrial goods industries. These were offset by increases in the computer, food and health care industries.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Dec Nov Oct Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Announced Job Cuts 30,623 45,314 45,730 -5.9 509,051 523,362 606,082
Announced Hiring Plans 11,362 14,177 87,874 -30.1 764,206 630,447 537,572
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