May Job Cuts Hit 36,398; YTD Down 11%

Monthly job cuts declined for the third consecutive month in May, as U.S.-based employers announced plans to trim payrolls by 36,398 during the month, 4.5 percent fewer than 38,121 cuts in April.  The May total was 41 percent lower than the same month a year ago, when employers slashed payrolls by 61,887 , according to the report Thursday from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

To date, the nation’s employers have announced 219,560 planned job cuts in 2013.  That is down 11 percent from the 245,540 planned cuts announced in the first five months of 2012.

It is not unusual to see job cuts decline during the summer months.  In fact, May is historically the slowest job-cut month of the year, averaging 57,688 since 1993.  The next lowest job-cut month is June, according to Challenger records, which show it averaging 59,887 since 1993.  The overall average monthly total across all months since 1993 is 70,288.

The heaviest job-cutting last month occurred in the health care sector, where 4,886 job cuts were tracked.  That was up slightly from 4,268 health care job cuts in April and more than double the 2,353 announced in May 2012.  Overall, layoffs in health care are up 71 percent in 2013 to 20,867, compared to 12,177 in the first five months of 2012.  

Only two other sectors have seen bigger gains: media, where job cuts have increased 249 percent from 1,829 in the first five months of 2012 to 6,388 as of May; and the financial sector, which has seen job cuts increase by 103 percent from 17,284 in 2012 to 35,091 this year.

Largest Job Cut Increases

 

Jan-May 2012

Jan-May 2013

% Change

Media

1,829

6,388

249.3%

Financial

17,284

35,091

103.0%

Health Care/Products

12,177

20,867

71.4%

Retail

20,983

32,683

55.8%

Non-Profit

938

1,443

53.8%

Get the full report here.

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