Challenger Gray

Layoffs at 11 Month High

Challenger, Gray & Christmas released their February 2011 layoff report which shows layoffs surged 32% in February to 50,702.

The 50,702 job cuts announced last month was up 32 percent from January’s 38,519. It was 20 percent higher than the 42,090 planned layoffs announced in February 2010. This marks the first year-over-year increase in monthly job cuts since May 2009 when job cuts totaling 111,182 surpassed the 103,522 layoffs announced the same month a year earlier by seven percent.

While Challenger, Gray & Christmas seem to be blaming high gas prices, the details in the layoffs paint a different picture:

The largest portion of layoffs last month came from government and non-profit employers, which announced 16,380 job cuts, up 154 percent from 6,450 in January and 196 percent higher than a year ago when 5,528 job cuts were announced in February. While most of the cuts occurred at the state and local level, the United States Postal Service announced that it reduced its headcount by 5,600 in recent months.

This is your government at work, with a 154% increase in government and non-profit layoffs. Government layoffs are directly attributable to the never ending state budget deficit malaise and the claims one must stiff Federal Workers in order to reduce them (which is false).

Retail sector layoffs increased 44% and we've seen a slowdown in consumer spending, with more money going to gas and food.

Initial weekly unemployment claims for July 31, 2010

The financial headline buzz du jour is all about initial weekly unemployment claims, which increased by 19,000. Why the U.S. jobs crisis is suddenly alarming news, when we and many other economic blogs have been sounding the alarm for years, is anybody's guess. Last week we showed, initial unemployment claims are simply too high and have stayed that way for months. Another alarming sign is the Challenger & Gray Job Cut report. Announced layoffs rose 6% from last month, the 3rd month in a row announced layoffs increased.

So far this year, the government and non-profit sector has announced 105,969 job cuts, nearly triple the next largest job-cutting sector: the pharmaceutical industry, which has announced 37,010 job cuts, 30 percent fewer than at this point last year.

Challenger Gray - Layoffs Increase 1.3% for May 2010

Challenger, Gray & Christmas tracks layoffs. In their May Report (attached), the tally of layoffs is 38,810. April announced layoffs were 38,326. 16,697 of the layoffs were in government and non-profit, which is an increase from last month.

New York had the most firings, with 18,960 layoffs in that state alone in May.

The number one reason for firing people is cost reduction. 15,998 of the 38,810 firings gave this reason.

While Challenger & Gray compares this to last year and seems to say how great it all is, the reality is more corporations have been offshore outsourcing and labor arbitraging American workers for over a decade now. Below is the Challenger Quarterly Layoff tracker starting in 1989. One can see the pattern of treating workers as disposable commodities, starting to escalate as technology, such as cheap telecommunications, expanded and bad trade deals, like the China PNTR came into effect. Global labor arbitrage is a long term structural problem for the U.S. labor force.




Challenger Gray - Layoffs Increase, Highest since July 2009

Challenger Gray tracks on planned layoffs. Today they released their report.

Planned layoff announcements at major U.S. corporations increased 59% in January, reaching 71,482 from a nine-year low of 45,094 seen in December, according to the latest job-cut tally by Challenger Gray & Christmas.

This is 70% lower than last year but when it seems everyone has been fired already and the country desperately needs to add jobs, this isn't a good sign.

Realize Challenger Gray layoff tallies are always significantly lower than the actual. Many companies hide planned layoffs, or one cannot find any official announcement.