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Economy in Brief

Challenger Job Cut Announcements Rebound and Hiring Declines
by Tom Moeller  February 4, 2016

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during January jumped to 75,114 (41.6% y/y) following the prior month's unrevised decline to 23,622. The latest was the highest level of in six months. Layoffs rose in the aerospace/defense, computer, construction, consumer products, education, electronics, energy, government, industrial goods, media, pharmaceutical, retail, telecommunications, transportation and utility industries. Layoffs declined in the apparel, automotive, chemical, entertainment/leisure, financial, food, health care, insurance, legal, real estate and services 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 declined last month to 8,362 (-4.7% y/y) after an increase to 11,465 in December. It fell in the computer, consumer products, financial, government, health care, pharmaceutical, retail and transportation industries. Hiring increased in the aerospace/defense, automotive, construction, electronics, energy, food, government, industrial goods, insurance, real estate, services and telecommunications industries.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Jan Dec Nov Jan Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013

Announced Job Cuts

75,114 23,622 30,953 41.6 598,510 483,171 509,051

Announced Hiring Plans

8,362 11,465 10,026 -4.7 690,751 821,506 764,206
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