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Economy in Brief

U.S. Challenger Job Cut Announcements Again Increase
by Tom Moeller  June 5, 2014

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that job cut announcements rose to 52,961 (45.5% y/y) during May, the highest level since February 2013. Layoffs increased m/m in the chemical, computer, commodities, consumer products, electronics, government, health care, insurance, pharmaceutical, services, telecommunications and transportation industries. A decline in job cut announcements occurred in the aerospace/defense, apparel, automotive, education, energy, entertainment/leisure, financial, food, media, retail and utility 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 to 10,141 (+5.4% y/y) due to less hiring in the aerospace/defense, automotive, services and telecommunications industries. Hiring increased in the construction, education, electronics, food, government, health care, industrial goods and transportation industries.

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

Inequality and Growth: The Relationship Isn't Simple from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis can be found here.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas May Apr Mar Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Announced Job Cuts 52,961 40,298 34,399 45.5 509,051 523,362 606,082
Announced Hiring Plans 10,141 11,145 6,860 5.4 764,206 630,447 537,572
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