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Economy in Brief

Challenger Survey Indicates Job Market Strengthening
by Tom Moeller  June 2, 2016

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during May fell sharply to 30,157 (-26.5% y/y) following April's increase to 64,141, revised down from 65,141. It was the lowest layoff level since December. Layoffs declined in the aerospace/defense, automotive, chemical, commodities, computer, consumer products, energy, entertainment/leisure, financial, government/nonprofit, industrial goods, retail and telecommunication industries. Layoffs increased in the apparel, construction, education, electronics, food, health care, insurance, media, pharmaceutical, services and transportation 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 strengthened 24,732, and nearly doubled y/y, after rising 11,557 in April. It rose in the chemical, computer, education, food, insurance, media, retail and telecommunications industries. Hiring fell in the aerospace/defense, automotive, construction, consumer products, electronics, energy, entertainment/leisure, financial, government/nonprofit, pharmaceutical industries.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas

May Apr Mar May Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013

Announced Job Cuts

30,157 64,141 48,207 -26.5 598,510 483,171 509,051

Announced Hiring Plans

24,732 11,557 10,997 96.3 690,751 821,506 764,206
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