Tags: Report | Announced | Job | Cuts | Fall | challenger

Report: Announced Job Cuts Fall 39% From Year Ago

Wednesday, 30 Mar 2011 08:44 AM

U.S. employers announced fewer job cuts in March than the same month last year, even as government payroll cutbacks climbed to the highest level in a year.

Planned firings decreased 39 percent to 41,528 this month from March 2010, according to a report today from Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Public employees accounted for almost half of all the March job cuts.

“It is difficult to be optimistic about the outlook for government workers,” Rick Cobb, the outplacement company’s executive vice president, said in a statement. “The good news is that other areas of the economy appear to have stabilized in terms of downsizing activity.”

Dismissals of state and local public workers may restrain further gains in consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the world’s largest economy. The highest gas prices in more than two years may also slow household purchases.

Compared with last month, job-cut announcements fell 18 percent. Because the figures aren’t adjusted for seasonal effects, economists prefer to focus on year-over-year changes rather than monthly numbers.

Government and nonprofit organizations announced 19,099 job cuts, an increase of 17 percent from the previous month, according to Challenger. So far this year, governments have planned 41,929 reductions. Telecommunications firms were second this month with 2,378 planned cuts.

California led all states with 14,954 announced job cuts, followed by Washington D.C., with 8,080.

The U.S. Postal Service, based in Washington, said last week that it plans to eliminate about 7,500 jobs and close seven administrative offices to cut costs.

Hiring Plans

Today’s report also showed that employers announced plans in March to hire 10,869 workers after 72,581 the prior month. Companies in the transportation industry said they plan to add 2,323 workers, Challenger said.

Employers in the U.S. hired about 190,000 workers this month, and the unemployment rate held at 8.9 percent, according to the median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg News survey ahead of an April 1 report from the Labor Department.

Challenger’s data do not always correlate with figures on payrolls or first-time jobless claims as reported by the government. Many job cuts are carried out through attrition or early retirement. Some employees whose jobs are eliminated find work elsewhere in their companies and many announced staff reductions never take place because business improves. The totals also include foreign affiliates.

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U.S. employers announced fewer job cuts in March than the same month last year, even as government payroll cutbacks climbed to the highest level in a year.Planned firings decreased 39 percent to 41,528 this month from March 2010, according to a report today from...
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2011-44-30
Wednesday, 30 Mar 2011 08:44 AM
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