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Economy in Brief

Challenger Job Cut Announcements Pull Back
by Tom Moeller  June 4, 2015

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during May fell to 41,034 (-22.5% y/y) and reversed part of April's unrevised increase to 61,582. Layoffs declined in the energy, aerospace/defense, apparel, automotive, chemical, computer, consumer products, education, entertainment/leisure, health care, industrial goods, insurance, real estate, retail and services industries. Layoffs increased in the construction, electronics, financial, food, government, legal, media, pharmaceutical, telecommunications and transportation 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 slipped last month to 12,598 (+24.2% y/y) from 13,898 in April. The number of jobs fell in the aerospace/defense, construction, consumer products, education, entertainment/leisure, legal, media, telecommunications industries. Job creation rose in the automotive, chemical, computer, electronics, energy, financial, food, health care, industrial goods, retail, services and transportation industries.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas

May Apr Mar Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012

Announced Job Cuts

41,034 61,582 36,594 -22.5 483,171 509,051 523,362

Announced Hiring Plans

12,598 13,898 6,412 24.2 821,506 764,206 630,447
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