52,961 May Job Cuts, Mostly From HP Announcement

Job cuts climbed to the highest level in more than a year, as US-based employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 52,961 in May, according to the report Thursday from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

May job cuts were up 31 percent from 40,298 announced layoffs in April.  It was the second consecutive increase in monthly job cuts and the largest one-month total since February 2013, when 55,356 job cuts were recorded.

Last month’s total was 46 percent higher than the 36,398 job cuts announced in May 2013.

Read the full report here.

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34,399 March Cuts Close Lowest Q1 in Nearly 20 Years

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New figures released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. show employers announced the fewest first-quarter job cuts in 19 years, providing further evidence that the economy continues to gain strength as it enters the sixth year of recovery. 

The first quarter closed with 34,399 March job cuts, the second lowest monthly total since January 2013.  The only month to see fewer cuts during that period was December, when just 30,623 job cuts were announced.  The March total was 18 percent lower than the 41,835 planned job cuts reported in February and 30 percent lower than a year ago when March job cuts totaled 49,255.

Get the full report here.

Over 100 CEOs Out In October; Health, Gov’t, Financial Lead

Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers declined slightly in October as 104 planned CEO departures were reported, down 2.8 percent from the 107 in September, according to a report released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The October total was down 3.7 percent from the same month a year ago when 108 were recorded.  Challenger has now tracked 1,053 CEO changes so far this year, 5.3 percent more than the 999 departures announced in the first ten months of 2012.

Due to continued changes in the health care landscape, this sector led all industries in October with 29 CEO departures, 25 of which came from hospitals and hospital systems.  Of those CEOs, nine went on to serve as high-level executives of other hospitals, usually as CEO.  To date, the health care sector has now seen 224 CEO departures in 2013, which is the highest turnover among all sectors tracked by Challenger.  Continue reading

107 CEOs Out In September, Highest Quarterly Total Since Q4 2008

Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers declined slightly in September as 107 planned CEO departures were reported, down 5.6 percent from the 113 in August, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The September total was up 12.6 percent from the same month a year ago when 95 were recorded.  This marks the third consecutive month in which CEO changes outpaced the same month last year.

Overall, third-quarter CEO departures totaling 348 are up 23 percent from the 282 announced during the same three-month span in 2012.   It is the highest quarterly since 352 CEO changes were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2008, the year Challenger tracked the most CEO changes on record with 1,484.

Challenger has now tracked 949 CEO changes so far this year, 6.5 percent more than the 891 departures announced in the first nine months of 2012.

Get the full report here.

Hot Jobs For 2018-2025

As the nation’s roughly 2 million college freshmen take the first steps on their career paths, the employment experts at global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., offered some advice on which areas could offer the most fertile employment landscape over the next decade. 

“Many freshmen have no idea what career path they want to pursue, relying on a mix of courses in the first year to help point them in the right direction.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it is a good idea to at least be armed with information about where job growth is expected to remain strong in order to make the best decisions about one’s course selections going forward,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“Those who concentrate on courses related to math, science, engineering and technology, will probably have the widest array of options upon graduation.  However, it is vital not to overlook critical coursework in writing, public speaking, and courses that sharpen your critical thinking skills.  While technical skills are in high demand, employers across the country consistently lament the lack of writing and communication skills that are essential in any profession one might pursue,” said Challenger.

Indeed, when human resources executives were asked by the Society of Human Resource Management to identify the skills that 2013 graduates were lacking the most, the largest percentage by far pointed to basic writing skills.  Nearly half of the HR professionals said last spring’s graduates lacked grammar, spelling and other writing skills.  Math, which ranked second in the list of skill deficiencies, was selected by 18 percent of respondents.

Read the full list here.

113 CEO Changes in August Include Microsoft, Groupon, US Steel Announcements

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CEO Departures by Industry

Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers remained elevated in August as 113 planned CEO departures were reported, including notable retirement announcements from Steve Ballmer at Microsoft and John Surma at U.S. Steel Corp.

While the 113 departures recorded in August is above the year-to-date average (105), the monthly total was 11.7 percent lower than July, when CEO changes reached a three-year high of 128,  according to the latest report on CEO turnover released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The August total was up 8.7 percent from the 104 CEO exits recorded in August of last year.  This marks the fifth month this year that CEO changes were higher than the corresponding period from a year ago.

Challenger has now tracked 842 CEO changes so far this year, 5.8 percent more than the 796 recorded in the first eight months of 2012. 

Last month saw a major announcements from tech-giant Microsoft, whose CEO Steve Ballmer announced he would leave amid falling sales and charges that the company is slow to adapt to mobile markets and tablet PCs. Investors reacted positively to the news, as it increased share prices.  Meanwhile, Chicago start-up-turned-public-offering Groupon announced that Eric Leftkofsky would continue at the helm after taking over as interim CEO for Andrew Mason in February. Co-CEO Ted Leonsis will remain Chairman.

“Neither Microsoft nor Groupon had a firm succession plan for replacing Ballmer and Mason.  This is not uncommon, but it could prove costly in the long run, as companies must first struggle to fill the void in leadership and then traverse a volatile period of adjustment that typically occurs following such a significant change,” said John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.  

Get the full report here.

August Job Cuts Spike to 50,462, Led By Manufacturing

Monthly job cuts surged to the highest level since February, as U.S.-based employers announced plans in August to slash payrolls by 50,462, a 33.8 percent increase from the 37,701 planned job cuts announced in July, according to a report Wednesday from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Job cuts last month were 57 percent higher than a year ago, when employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 32,239.  This marks the third consecutive month in which job cuts outpaced the comparable period from 2012.  August ranks as the second largest job-cut month of the year behind February, when announced layoffs reached 55,356.

Employers have now announced 347,095 job cuts so far this year.  That virtually matches the 352,185 job cuts announced from January through August 2012.

August workforce reductions were dominated by the industrial goods sector, where manufacturers announced 22,162 job cuts.  That was the largest job-cut total for this sector since January 2009, when 32,083 planned layoffs were announced.  It is the largest one-month job-cut total for a single industry category this year and nearly surpasses the 26,103 job cuts announced by industrial goods manufacturers in all of 2012.

Get the full report here.