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Economy in Brief

Challenger Job Cut and New Hiring Announcements Increase
by Tom Moeller  May 7, 2015

Job market churning increased last month; job cuts surged along with hiring. The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during April increased 61,582 (52.8% y/y) following a sharp drop 36,594 in March. The latest was the highest level since May 2012. Layoffs increased m/m in the aerospace/defense, automotive, chemical, computer, consumer products, education, energy, entertainment/leisure, government, health care and real estate industries. Layoffs fell m/m in the apparel, electronics, financial, food, industrial goods, insurance, legal, media, pharmaceutical, retail, services, telecommunications, transportation and utility 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 picked up last month to 13,898 (24.7% y/y) from 6,412 in March. Job creation rose in the computer, construction, consumer products, education, entertainment/leisure, health care, legal, media, retail, services and telecommunications industries. Hiring fell in the aerospace/defense, automotive, chemical, energy, financial, industrial goods, pharmaceutical industries.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Apr Mar Feb Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012

Announced Job Cuts

61,582 36,594 50,579 52.8 483,171 509,051 523,362

Announced Hiring Plans

13,898 6,412 14,574 24.7 821,506 764,206 630,447
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