Remember last Wednesday when the firm Challenger reported a huge surge in September layoffs?
Turns out, maybe there wasn’t that much to get freaked out about.
Joe LaVorgna at Deutsche Bank observes:
…the headlines from various surveys that measure large scale layoff events may be misleading. Recently, the Challenger, grey & Christmas survey of announced job cuts indicated that layoffs were up 65k in September—the largest increase since January 2009 (75k). However, in the details of the survey, the report cited that 70% of the announced layoffs were the result of two organisations: Bank of America (30k) and the US Army (50k). The former is the result of a restructuring initiative and the latter the consequence of a five-year troop reduction plan announced by the Department of defence. As an aside, soldiers are not counted by the BLS in its monthly nonfarm payroll survey. Stripping out the nearly 68k in military cuts over the past two months, the 3-month moving average for total announced job cuts stands at 37,189—the lowest level year-to-date and down from the peak in March (42,229). In addition, the BLS provides data on mass layoff events, which are defined as instances of at least 50 initial claimants from a single establishment filing for benefits. This is released around the third week of each month and as of the latest August report, layoffs were down -4.3% versus the same period a year ago.