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.

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.

37,701 July Job Cuts on Sequestration, Health Reform Concerns

Job cuts declined slightly in July, as employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 37,701 workers, down 4.2 percent from 39,372 planned layoffs in June, according to the latest report on monthly job cuts released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Last month’s total was 2.3 percent higher than a year ago, when 36,855 planned job cuts were recorded.  Employers have now announced 296,633 job cuts since January 1, which is 7.3 percent fewer than the 319,946 job cuts announced in the first seven months of 2012.  At the current pace of downsizing, which is averaging 42,376 job cuts per month, 2013 will come in below the 2012 year-end total of 523,362, which was the lowest annual total since 1997 (434,350).

July job cuts were somewhat offset by announced hiring plans that will add 9,728 new workers to employer payrolls in the coming weeks and months.  These include at least 5,000 new workers being hired by online retail giant Amazon.com to meet increasing demand.

July workforce reductions were led by the health care sector, which announced 6,843 planned job cuts.  That represents the highest number of cuts for this sector since 9,558 health care job cuts were recorded in November 2009.  Health care organizations have now cut 29,794 jobs this year, 59 percent more than the 18,770 planned job cuts announced by this point in 2012.

“Cuts in Medicare reimbursements brought about by sequestration and health care reform are hurting hospitals’ bottom line.  Some states are also cutting Medicaid funding, which adds to the financial challenges.  Hospitals are also reporting fewer patients as high-deductible insurance policies discourage would-be patients from seeking health services.  As a result of these factors, health care providers, which had been one of the country’s best job generators in recent years, are being forced to reduce their headcounts,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Meanwhile, aerospace and defense saw the second largest job-cut total in July, with firms in this sector announcement plans to reduce payrolls by 4,889.  That brings year-to-date job cuts for the sector to 22,750, which ranks fourth among all industries and represents a 20 percent increase from the 19,026 job cuts announced by these employers in all of 2012.

Get the full report here.

June Job Cut Report: Over 10K Cuts Attributed to Sequestration This Year

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.

Full report here.

 

June Job Cut Report Due Early: Wednesday, July 3

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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. Global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. will release its report on June job cuts on Wednesday, July 3, at 7:30 a.m. ET.

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June CEO Report

Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers surged in May as 104 announced their departures during the month.  That was 10.6 percent higher than the 94 CEO exits in April. May departures were 5.1 percent higher than the same month a year ago, when 99 CEO changes were recorded. The Challenger report on May CEO turnover will be released Wednesday, July 10 at 10:00 a.m. ET.

 

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.

US Employers Announce 49,255 Job Cuts In March

The nation’s employers reported job cuts totaling 49,255 in March, a decline of 11 percent from the 55,356 cuts announced in February, according to the latest report on downsizing activity released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.  Despite the decline, quarterly job cuts reached their highest level since 2011.

March job cuts were 30 percent higher than a year ago, when employers announced plans to shed 37,880 workers from their payrolls.  This marks the second consecutive month and the fourth time in the last six months that the job-cut total was higher than the year-ago figure.

Employers have now announced 145,041 job cuts through the first three months of 2013.  That 5.6 percent higher than the previous quarter’s 137,361 job cuts and 1.4 percent higher than the 143,094 job cuts announced in the first quarter of 2012.  The first-quarter total is, in fact, the highest quarterly tally since 233,258 job cuts were tracked in the third quarter of 2011.

Get the full report here.