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Economy in Brief

U.S. Challenger Reports Job Market Healing
by Tom Moeller  November 2, 2011

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Grey & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during October totaled just 42,759 following the September surge of 115,730. The latest figure was the lowest since June. The lessened rise in announcements was led by fewer the cuts in the education, energy, financial, government (military), media and transportation industries. Increases were logged by the automotive, chemical, construction, consumer products, entertainment/ leisure and insurance industries. During the last ten years there has been a 67% 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 surged to 159,177. That was the highest level, by far, of the current recovery. The retail, media & insurance industries showed the bulk of the gain.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Oct Sep Aug Y/Y% 2010 2009 2008
Announced Job Cuts 42,759 115,730 51,114 12.6 529,973 1,288,030 1,223,993
Announced Hiring Plans 159,177 76,551 15,201 27.6 402,638 272,573 118,600
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