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Economy in Brief

Challenger Job Cut Announcements Decline to Three-Month Low
by Tom Moeller  April 3, 2014

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that job cut announcements declined to 34,399 (-30.2% y/y) during March, the lowest level since December. Layoffs fell m/m in the financial, food, telecommunications, retail, electronics, apparel, aerospace/defense, consumer products, insurance, media and pharmaceutical industries. An increase in announcements occurred in the health care, computer, automotive, commodities, education, energy, services and transportation industries. During the last ten years there has been a 62% correlation between the level of job cut announcements and the m/m change in payroll employment.

Challenger also samples firms' hiring plans. They fell sharply to 6,860 (-15.5% y/y) due to less hiring in the industrial goods, retail, health care, computer, construction, electronics and financial industries. Hiring plans improved in the energy, aerospace/defense, automotive, education, food, insurance and telecommunications industries.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Mar Feb Jan Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Announced Job Cuts 34,399 41,835 45,017 -30.2 509,051 523,362 606,082
Announced Hiring Plans 6,860 11,054 6,312 -15.5 764,206 630,447 537,572
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