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Economy in Brief

U.S. Challenger Layoffs Up And Hiring Plans Down
by Tom Moeller  June 1, 2011

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Grey & Christmas reported that layoffs during May rose a slight 1.8% m/m to 37,135, but that still was nearly the lowest level since June, 2000. The uptick in layoffs was led by the aerospace/defense, consumer products, electronics, energy, government, insurance, telecommunication and transportation industries. Layoffs fell elsewhere, notably in entertainment/leisure, financial, food, and real estate industries. During the last ten years there has been a 67% (inverse) correlation between the three-month moving average of announced job cuts and the three-month change in payroll employment. Job cut announcements differ from layoffs. Many are achieved through attrition, early retirement or just never occur.

Challenger also samples firms' hiring plans which fell to 10,248, near the recovery low.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas May Apr Mar Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Announced Job Cuts 37,135 36,490 41,528 -4.3% 529,973 1,288,030 1,223,993
Announced Hiring Plans 10,248 59,648 10,869 -31.3 402,638 272,573 118,600
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