Employment Trends: Good News, Bad News

Employment Trends Bulletin: Good News/Bad News

First, the Bad News…
This morning, FedEx posted a higher net income and an 18% increase in revenue over last year, but announced 1,700 job cuts, in spite of expectations of global growth over the coming year, according to reports. They will also close 100 facilities as it consolidates business divisions. The pace of job cut announcements has slowed considerably over last year, according to Challenger data. Transportation companies have announced 20,102 job cuts through August, compared to 65,591 in the same period last year. Are companies likely to increase job cutting before the end of the year? What other industries are seeing layoffs? Will retail hiring offset these losses, as retailers beef up for the holidays? What will the job market look like next year?

Now, the Good News…
Jobless claims fell last week to 450,000, the lowest in 2 months. This marks the third consecutive decline for the historically volatile employment measure. Meanwhile, Toys R Us announced that it will open 600 temporary “Express” stores in malls and other shopping centers across the country for the holidays. This doubles the retailer’s 2009 holiday store openings and requires hiring 10,000 seasonal workers. How much of a boost do temporary stores associated primarily with Halloween and Christmas give to retail hiring? When will retailers and other employers begin their holiday hiring push?

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