August Job Cuts Drop To 51,114

After Three Consecutive Increases, Layoffs Plunge

Download the report here.

United States-based employers announced plans to trim 51,114 workers from the payrolls in August, a 23-percent decline from July, when the number of job cuts hit a 16-month high of 66,414, according to the report released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The August decline follows three consecutive increases in the monthly job-cut total that saw job cuts rise from 36,490 in April to the July peak.  The August total, however, was up 47 percent from a year ago, when employers announced just 34,768 job cuts during the month.

Employers have now announced 363,334 planned layoffs so far this year.  That is only 2.9 percent below a 2010 eight-month job-cut total of 374,121.  The gap between 2010 and 2011 year-to-date job cuts has steadily fallen over the last few months.  In March, year-to-date job cuts were 28 percent behind 2010.  By June, the difference dropped to 17 percent.  Now, less than three percent separates 2011 and 2010.

“July job cuts spiked as a result of a handful of surprisingly large job-cut announcements in the private sector.  It is too soon to tell whether those cuts were an anomoly, but they appeared to be driven by industry- and company-specific trends, as opposed to larger economic ones.  In August, the private sector once again took a backseat to the  government sector, which saw job cuts surge to the second highest monthly total this year,” saidJohn A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

In August, government agencies announced plans to cut 18,426 workers from their payrolls.  That is nearly double the 9,389 job cuts announced in the sector in July and not far behind the largest government job-cut month of the year: March, when these employers announced 19,099 job cuts.

The government sector has now announced 105,406 job cuts this year.  The next closest sector is retail, which has announced 40,173, including 5,901 in August.

“Unlike previous months, the government job-cut announcements in August were not dominated by state and local agencies.  Instead, the federal level led the way with heavy reductions among the civilian and officer ranks across three branches of the military.  More workforce reductions at the federal level are undoubtedly coming down the road.  Congress and the White House are under immense pressure to cut federal budgets and while the heaviest cuts are due in 2014, we will probably begin seeing some fallout starting this year and into 2012,” said Challenger.

“Furthermore, while state and local agencies saw fewer cuts in August, they are not exactly out of the woods in terms of the budget issues they face.  Many states are still struggling with high unemployment and falling home ownership, which are taking a huge bite out of tax revenues for states and their cities.  And most can expect fewer federal dollars that are needed to prop up their finances,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the private sector is still being hampered by low consumer and business spending.  While we do not see any indication of a sudden resurgence in private-sector job cuts, conditions definitely are not ideal for hiring.  We expect hiring to remain slow through the end of the year and into 2012,” said Challenger.

“That is not to say there is no hiring.  Government surveys of employers show that they are hiring more than four million new workers per month.  It just so happens that employers are losing about four million workers each month to layoffs, terminations, retirements and other voluntary and involuntary departures.  As a result, the net change in employment is not very impressive, but it is important for job seekers to realize that there are opportunities and that they should not give up because of some negative economic reports,” he noted.

# # #

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.

JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

 

TOP FIVE INDUSTRIES

Year To Date

     

2011

2010

 
Government/Non-Profit*

105,406

112,378

Retail

40,173

30,805

Aerospace/Defense

28,431

10,538

Financial

22,846

17,220

Pharmaceutical

18,386

37,265

MONTH BY MONTH TOTALS

2011

2010

 

January

38,519

71,482

February

50,702

42,090

March

41,528

67,611

April

36,490

38,326

May

37,135

38,810

June

41,432

39,358

.

July

66,414

41,676

August

51,114

34,768

September

37,151

October

37,986

November

48,711

December

32,004

TOTAL

363,334

529,973

 

Some reductions are identified by employers as workers who will take early retirement offers or other special considerations to leave the company.

 

LAYOFF LOCATION

Year to Date

California

45,105

Dist. of Columbia

33,481

New Jersey

27,706

Michigan

23,727

Florida

18,098

Listings are identified by the location of the layoff or corporate headquarters as stated in announcement.

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.

JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

 

JOB CUTS BY INDUSTRY

 

AUGUST

Year-To-Date

Government*

18,426

105,406

Financial

8,094

22,846

Retail

5,901

40,173

Energy

3,670

7,027

Health Care/Products

3,006

18,226

Food

2,850

12,368

Industrial Goods

1,937

13,279

Construction

981

5,977

Media

972

5,600

Aerospace/Defense

870

28,431

Consumer Products

673

10,755

Services

657

9,141

Entertainment/Leisure

653

10,436

Transportation

640

7,719

Automotive

635

7,904

Education

348

2,262

Telecommunications

157

7,715

Electronics

150

4,809

Computer

149

11,297

Utility

129

2,767

Pharmaceutical

122

18,386

Non-Profit

94

444

Apparel

1,276

Chemical

2,447

Insurance

2,670

Legal

2,729

Real Estate

1,244

TOTAL

51,114

363,334

 

*Through June, education and non-profit job cuts were included in the category Government/Non-Profit. In July, Challenger separated those categories. They will remain separate from this point forward. Historically, job cuts in those industries will remain tallied together.

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.

JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

 

 

JOB CUTS BY REGION, STATE

 

East

23,928

District of Columbia

17,500

New York

2,849

New Jersey

1,194

Maryland

1,091

Connecticut

530

Pennsylvania

317

Massachusetts

289

New Hampshire

138

Rhode Island

20

 

 

Midwest

10,046

Kansas

4,750

Minnesota

1,321

Illinois

1,250

Wisconsin

839

Michigan

699

Missouri

490

Ohio

392

Iowa

190

Indiana

115

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

 

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.

JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

 

 

JOB CUTS BY REGION, STATE

 

West /Southwest

6,931

Washington

3,215

California

2,293

Texas

754

Utah

270

Idaho

230

Colorado

100

Arizona

60

Wyoming

6

South Dakota

3

 

 

South

10,209

North Carolina

5,938

Florida

2,077

Alabama

863

Arkansas

370

Virginia

324

Georgia

300

Kentucky

157

Tennessee

150

South Carolina

17

Mississippi

13

 

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.

JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

 

JOB CUT REASONS

 

AUGUST

YEAR-TO-DATE

Cost-Cutting

16,762

98,153

Restructuring

12,878

75,963

Closing

10,010

80,317

Economic Conditions

8,420

24,572

Labor Dispute

1,342

1,342

Loss of Contract

597

6,624

Merger/Acquisition

317

8,987

Demand Downturn

269

13,096

Outsourcing

179

2,879

Relocation

135

3,053

Flooding

95

245

Bankruptcy

65

8,982

Voluntary Severance

25

17,090

Reorganization/Consolidation

17

175

Technological Update

3

154

Competition

13,150

Funding Loss

2,992

Government Regulation

2,446

Legal Trouble

1,340

Natural Disaster

139

Order Cancellation/Reduction

1,335

Rising Costs

300

TOTAL

51,114

363,334

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

 

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.

JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

QUARTER-BY-QUARTER

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

TOTAL

1989

9,850

10,100

24,085

67,250

111,285

1990

107,052

87,686

49,104

72,205

316,047

1991

110,056

76,622

147,507

221,107

555,292

1992*

110,815

85,486

151,849

151,850

500,000

1993

170,615

84,263

194,486

165,822

615,186

1994

192,572

107,421

117,706

98,370

516,069

1995

97,716

114,583

89,718

137,865

439,882

1996

168,695

101,818

91,784

114,850

477,147

1997

134,257

51,309

95,930

152,854

434,350

1998

139,140

131,303

161,013

246,339

677,795

1999

210,521

173,027

173,181

118,403

675,132

2000

141,853

81,568

168,875

221,664

613,960

2001

406,806

370,556

594,326

585,188

1,956,876

2002

478,905

292,393

269,090

426,435

1,466,823

2003

355,795

274,737

241,548

364,346

1,236,426

2004

262,840

209,895

251,585

315,415

1,039,735

2005

287,134

251,140

245,378

288,402

1,072,054

2006

255,878

180,580

202,771

200,593

839,822

2007

195,986

197,513

194,095

180,670

768,264

2008

200,656

275,292

287,142

460,903

1,223,993

2009

578,510

318,165

240,233

 151,122

1,288,030

2010

181,183

116,494

113,595

118,701

529,973

2011

130,749

115,057

245,806

AVG

214,243

163,205

190,067

229,527

 

 

*Estimate based on half-year total. Challenger began tracking job-cut data in 1993.  Before that, it was tabulated by an independent newsletter no longer published.

 

 

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.

JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

 

 

ANNOUNCED HIRING PLANS

 

Industry AUGUST
Automotive

3,030

Computer

2,557

Education

2,152

Services

2070

Industrial Goods

1,257

Health Care/Products

650

Energy

600

Transportation

503

Financial

470

Pharmaceutical

433

Government

410

Retail

300

Aerospace/Defense

277

Consumer Products

172

Telecommunication

100

Entertainment/Leisure

100

Food

60

Electronics

60

TOTAL

15,201

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.

JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

 

 

ANNOUNCED HIRING PLANS

MONTHLY TOTALS

 

2011

2010

January

29,492

31,381

February

72,581

8,300

March

10,869

13,994

April

59,648

15,654

May

10,248

14,922

June

15,498

11,732

July

10,706

8,151

August

15,201

14,075

September

123,076

October

124,766

November

26,012

December

10,575

TOTAL

224,243

402,638

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

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