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Economy in Brief

Challenger Job Cut Announcements Surge
by Tom Moeller  August 6, 2015

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during July jumped to 105,696 (125.4% y/y) and added to June's unrevised increase of 44,842. Layoffs spiked higher in the computer, electronics, energy and government sectors. Layoffs also increased in construction, consumer products, financial, industrial goods, services and transportation. Layoffs fell sharply in the chemical, aerospace/defense, automotive, entertainment/leisure, food, health care, insurance, legal, pharmaceutical ands retail 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 held fairly steady last month at 11,637 (-29.7% y/y) versus 11,176 in June. Hiring fell in the aerospace/defense, automotive, electronics, energy, financial, government, health care, industrial goods, telecommunications and transportation industries. Increased job creation occurred in the apparel, chemical, computers, construction, consumer products, retail and services industries.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Jul Jun May Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012

Announced Job Cuts

105,696 44,842 41,034 125.4 483,171 509,051 523,362

Announced Hiring Plans

11,637 11,176 12,598 -29.7 821,506 764,206 630,447
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