Downsizing Activity Relatively Flat in September


U.S.-based employers planned to cut 33,816 jobs in September, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas That was up 4.9% from 32,229 in August, as well as 71% lower than in September of 2011.

Employers announced 102,910 job cuts in the third quarter, which was 27% lower than in the previous quarter and down 56% from the third quarter of 2011. That was the lowest quarterly total since the second quarter of 2000, when planned layoffs numbered 81,568.

The significant drop-off in the number of layoffs announced by the government sector contributed to a decline in monthly job cut figures. These employers announced just 14,186 job cuts through September, compared to 119,027 by this point a year ago.

The industry that cut the most jobs last month was energy, which announced 3,393 job cuts in September. But that was less than the 4,771 in they year-ago period.

John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said:

Layoffs are definitely at pre-recession levels. Unfortunately, hiring has not returned to those levels. A combination of factors, including the upcoming election, ongoing instability in Europe, growing signs of weakness in Asia and a host of other issues, are keeping companies from making any major expansion or hiring moves.

The full report is available here.

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