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Economy in Brief

Challenger Survey Layoff Announcements Backpedal
by Tom Moeller  November 3, 2016

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that job cut announcements during October declined to 30,740 (-39.1% y/y) following September's increase to 44,324. It was the lowest level of job cut announcements since May. Layoffs declined in the apparel, chemical, commodities, construction, education, financial, food, government/nonprofit, media, retail, telecommunications and utility industries. Layoffs increased in the aerospace/defense, automotive, computer, consumer products, electronics, energy, entertainment/leisure, health care, industrial goods, insurance, legal, 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 fell sharply to 135,532 last month (+57.4% y/y) following a surge to 487,075 in September. It fell in the aerospace/defense, automotive, energy, entertainment/leisure, financial, retail and transportation industries. Hiring rose in the computer, consumer products, health care, insurance, media, services telecommunications.

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

Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013

Announced Job Cuts

30,740 44,324 32,188 -39.1 598,510 483,171 509,051

Announced Hiring Plans

135,532 487,075 9,101 57.4 690,751 821,506 764,206
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