Good News: Layoffs Plummeted In October


Photo: Adrian Beney

Some good news on labour.Layoffs plummeted sequentially in October, according to Challenger, grey, and Christmas, which puts out a monthly report.

The bad news: The financial sectors and government continue to bleed.

From the report:

After reaching a 28-month high in September, the number of planned job cuts announced by U.S.-based employers plunged in October to 42,759, the lowest monthly total since June. Meanwhile, planned hiring announcements approached 160,000, as several employers revealed their seasonal employment strategies.

The latest report on planned job cuts shows that downsizing activity in October declined 63 per cent from September, when employers announced 115,730 job cuts, the highest total since 132,590 in April 2009. Last month’s total was up 12.6 per cent from the 37,986 layoffs in October 2010. The report on October layoffs was released Wednesday by global outplacement firm Challenger, grey & Christmas, Inc.

To date, employers have announced a total of 521,823 planned job cuts in 2011, which is 16 per cent more than the 449,258 job cuts announced between January and October 2010. The 2011 total, however, remains well below recession levels. By this point in 2009, planned layoffs totaled 1,192,587.

The biggest declines in October job cuts occurred in the financial and government sectors. After announcing 54,182 cuts to personnel levels in September, the government announced just 2,785 job cuts in October; a 95- per cent drop to the sector’s lowest monthly job-cut total since January 2009 (2,298). Job cuts in the financial sector plunged 98 per cent from 31,167 in September to 497 last month.

The government and financial sectors still remain the top job-cutting industries for the year, with 162,373 and 54,510 job cuts, respectively. And, according to John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, grey & Christmas, the two sectors remain the most at-risk when it comes to the potential for more mass layoffs.

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