Job Cuts Rise 17 Percent in April to 40,298

Job cut announcements by U.S.-based firms were up 17 percent in April, as employers in retail and financial services continued to shed workers in a challenging business environment.

Employers announced plans to shed 40,298 workers from their payrolls in April, according to the monthly report released Thursday by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.  That was up from 34,399 in March and 6.0 percent higher than the 38,121 job cuts recorded in the same month a year ago.

Read the full report here.

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Retailers Opening Thanksgiving Day

In our annual holiday hiring forecast, global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas predicted holiday hiring to remain flat or decline slightly from last year’s record levels.  However, even with a slight decline in overall hiring, national retail chains are expected to hire tens of thousands of seasonal workers across the country.  Indeed, retailers so far have announced plans to hire 444,000 seasonal workers, according to initial tracking by Challenger.  Much of this hiring will occur over the next three to four weeks, so that retailers have workers in place for the all-important Black Friday sales.  Some retailers have moved up Black Friday shopping from early Friday morning to late Thanksgiving Thursday night.  “Among those starting sales on Thanksgiving Day is Macy’s, which is planning to hire the most seasonal workers so far this year, with 83,000, and announced some of its stores would open at 8p.m. Thanksgiving Day.  While there was some public criticism of earlier and earlier sales, the outcry obviously did not translate to decreased traffic or else Macy’s and others that are sure to make similar announcements in the coming weeks would not be doing it again this year,” said John Challenger. “The early opening will only increase the need for temporary seasonal workers, who are likely to be the ones stuck working on Thanksgiving Day, as those with more seniority tend to get first-preference when it comes to assigning holiday hours,” noted Challenger.  Will other retailers join Macy’s in opening on Thanksgiving Day?  How might early openings impact retail employment?  What can those seeking holiday jobs do to improve their chances of finding employment?

Macy’s

83,000

Target

70,000

Amazon

70,000

Walmart

55,000

Kohl’s

53,000

Toys R Us

45,000

JCPenney

35,000

GameStop

17,000

Meijer

9,000

JoAnn’s

3,000

eBay (Louisville, KY)

2,000

Eddie Bauer (Columbus, OH)

1,200

eBay (Eau Claire, WI)

800

UPDATE: 2013 Holiday Hiring May Struggle To Match Last Year’s 12-Year High

Updated with locations of hiring announcements, clarification of BLS data.

While retail holiday hiring hit a 12-year high in 2012, shaky consumer confidence and increased efficiencies among retailers may prevent seasonal employment gains from reaching such lofty heights this year, according to an outlook released Monday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

In its annual holiday hiring forecast, Challenger estimated that seasonal job gains will not see a significant decline from last year’s robust numbers, but they are likely to at best match the level of hiring that occurred in October, November, and December 2012.  With many retailers already starting holiday-themed ads and breaking out Christmas decorations in stores, those hoping to get in on the seasonal hiring push should act early.

In 2012, retail employment increased by a non-seasonally-adjusted 751,800 between October 1 and December 31.  That was the heaviest holiday hiring binge since 2000, when retailers added 788,200 to their payrolls during the final three months of the year.  The 2012 holiday hiring total was up 11 percent from the previous year, when 679,300 extra seasonal workers were hired. Continue reading

Teen Summer Jobs Update: Hiring Slips In June

Teen hiring got off to its strongest start in seven years in 2013, but heavy employment gains in May appear to have caused employers to pull back slightly in June.  However, with 994,000 16- to -19-year-olds finding seasonal positions so far this summer, it is still possible that teen hiring could outpace 2012, according to John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

A Challenger analysis of just-released government employment data found that employers added 215,000 teenagers to their payrolls in May.  That is the largest number of teens hired in May since 2006, when employment among 16- to 19-year-olds expanded by 230,000 in the first month of the summer hiring season.

The latest non-seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that another 779,000 teens found employment in June.  That was down from June 2012, when teen employment grew by 858,000.  Overall, the 994,000 teens finding jobs so far this summer is down 2.1 percent from the 1,015,000 teen job winners in May and June of last year. Continue reading

April Job Cuts Fall to 4-Month Low with 38,121

Job cuts fell to their lowest level since December, as U.S. employers announced plans to trim payrolls by 38,121 in April, according to the latest report on downsizing activity released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

April job cuts were 23 percent lower than March, when announced layoffs totaled 49,255.  They were 6.0 percent lower than the 40,559 planned job cuts announced in April 2012.  April represents the lowest job-cut month since last December, when 32,556 were tracked by Challenger.

Through the first four months of 2013, the pace of downsizing is virtually equal to a year ago.  Employers have announced 183,162 job cuts to date, which is only 0.27 percent lower than the 183,653 planned layoffs announced in the first four months of 2012.

“The economic slowdown that began late in the third quarter and is expected to turn into another summer slump has yet to result in increased or widespread downsizing.  The biggest concern is that consumers, who had been holding up the economy for so many months, are starting to scale back their spending as wages continue to stagnate,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Consumer spending was up 0.2 percent in March, due primarily to increased heating costs during the unseasonably cold month.  Spending in other categories, such as household goods, retail and restaurants declined in March, according to the Commerce Department.

Read 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.