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Economy in Brief

Challenger Job Cut Announcements Slip While Hiring Plans Improve
by Tom Moeller  March 6, 2014

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that job cut announcements edged down slightly to 41,835 (-24.4% y/y) during February but only dented the prior month's jump. Layoffs declined m/m in the retail, computers, automotive, transportation, commodities, consumer products, electronics, energy, entertainment/leisure, health care and legal industries. An increase in announcements occurred in the telecommunications, financial, food, industrial goods, education, insurance, media, pharmaceutical and utility industries. During the last ten years there has been a 62% correlation between the level of job cut announcements and the m/m change in payroll employment.

Challenger also samples firms' hiring plans. They improved moderately to 11,054 (-88.0% y/y) due to more hiring in the retail, computer, industrial goods, electronics, financial and health care industries. Hiring plans eased in the aerospace, automotive, chemical, construction, food, insurance, legal, media, pharmaceutical, services and transportation industries.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Feb Jan Dec Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Announced Job Cuts 41,835 45,017 30,623 -24.4 509,051 523,362 606,082
Announced Hiring Plans 11,054 6,312 11,362 -88.0 764,206 630,447 537,572
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