Layoff plans up 21% in first half of year

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Challenger Gray & Christmas said announced layoffs were 81,755 last month, up 47% compared to a year ago. For the entire second quarter, layoffs rose to 275,292, the most since late 2005.

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So far this year, announced job cuts have risen to 475,948, compared with 393,499 in the first six months of 2007.
MarketWatch, 2 Jul 2008

Thats up 21% from last year. If you add this to the ADP data also out today, the upcoming Employment report should be pretty weak. As expected the weakness was concentrated in financial services, where the mortgage market has dampened the outlook.

Financial companies announced 19,227 layoffs in June, bringing the sector’s total for 2008 to 85,258, Challenger Gray said. Of these, fully 91% were related to the collapse of the mortgage market.

Layoffs have risen in the computer, transportation, telecommunications and automotive industries, in part because of skyrocketing energy costs, Challenger Gray said.

“Remarkably, job cuts have not spread as widely as we might expect in this weakening economy,” said CEO John Challenger. “Companies were more cautious when it came to hiring after the dot-com collapse.”

The silver lining here is the last statement by John Challenger, meaning employment may not fall as hard as in previous cycles because companies were cautious in hiring after the bear market at the beginning of the decade.

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