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Economy in Brief

Challenger Job Cut Announcements Pull Back
by Tom Moeller  September 3, 2015

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during August declined sharply to 41,186 (+2.9% y/y) and more-than-reversed July's unrevised surge to 105,496. Layoffs pulled back in the aerospace/defense, chemical, computer, construction, electronics, energy, financial, government, media and transportation industries. Layoffs increased in the automotive, consumer products, education, entertainment/leisure, food, health care, industrial goods, insurance, pharmaceutical, retail, services and telecommunications 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 edged higher last month to 11,778 (22.0% y/y) versus 11,637 in July. Increased job creation occurred in the aerospace/defense, automotive, education, electronics, financial, industrial goods, insurance, pharmaceutical, telecommunications and transportation industries. Reduced hiring plans were realized in the apparel, chemical, computer, construction, consumer products, food, health care, retail and services industries.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Aug Jul Jun Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012

Announced Job Cuts

41,186 105,696 44,842 2.9 483,171 509,051 523,362

Announced Hiring Plans

11,778 11,637 11,176 22.0 821,506 764,206 630,447
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