Planned job cuts rose slightly in June, as employers announced workforce reductions totaling 39,372 during the month, up 8.2 percent from 36,398 in May. While job cuts were up last month, the pace of downsizing through the first half of the year is down about nine percent from a year ago, according to the latest report on monthly job cuts released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
Led by increased job cuts in the computer and education sectors, June was 4.8 percent higher than the same month a year ago, when employers announced 37,551 planned job cuts. For the quarter ending June 30, announced layoffs totaled 113,891, down 21.5 percent from the first quarter and 18.6 percent lower than the same three month period in 2012.
The slowdown in job cuts last quarter was responsible for an overall decline in job cuts through the first half of 2013. Employers announced 258,932 job cuts through the six months of the year, 8.5 percent fewer than the 283,091 job cuts announced by the same point in 2012. The six-month total is the second lowest since 2000, when employers announced 223,421 cuts from January through June. The lowest six-month tally since 2000 was 2011, when job cuts totaled 245,806.
To date, Challenger has tracked 10,253 job cuts related to sequestration and other federal spending cuts. The largest portion of the sequestration cuts have come from the aerospace and defense sector, which announced 4,366 layoffs between January and June. Government employers have cut another 1,976 jobs related to sequestration. Health care reform has been cited as the cause for 618 job cuts since the beginning of the year, all of which have occurred in the health care sector.