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Economy in Brief

Challenger Job Cut Announcements Surge
by Tom Moeller  February 5, 2015

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during January jumped to 53,041 (17.6% y/y) from 32,640 in December. It was the highest layoff level since February 2013. Layoffs rose m/m in the aerospace/defense, commodities, computer, construction, consumer products, electronics, energy, entertainment/leisure, financial, industrial goods, retail and transportation industries. Layoffs moved lower in the automotive, chemical, education, food, government, health care, media, pharmaceutical, services, telecommunications, and utility industries. During the last ten years there has been a 68% correlation between the level of job cut announcements and the m/m change in payroll employment.

Challenger also samples firms' hiring plans. Hiring increased in January in the apparel, automotive, construction, consumer products, entertainment/leisure, food, health care, insurance, pharmaceutical, services, telecommunications and transportation industries. Hiring declined in the aerospace/defense, commodities, electrics, financial, industrial goods, media and utility industries.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Jan Dec Nov Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012

Announced Job Cuts

53,041 32,640 35,940 17.6 483,171 509,051 523,362

Announced Hiring Plans

8,774 7,332 11,291 39.0 821,506 764,206 630,447
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