US: Challenger Job-Cut Report

Thu May 07 06:30:00 CDT 2015

Actual Previous
Announced Layoffs - Level 61,582 36,594

Price-borne weakness in the oil sector was responsible for about one-third of all layoff announcements in April which totaled 61,582, well up from 36,594 in March and from 40,298 in April last year. Layoff announcements from the energy sector totaled 19,745 in April and follow two similar very heavy totals, 16,339 and 20,193, in 2 of the 3 prior months.

Layoff announcements have been on the rise but the lag between announcements and actual dismissals can take months. Also, jobless claims are currently on the decline. Today's Challenger report isn't likely to affect expectations for tomorrow's employment report.

This monthly report counts and categorizes announcements of corporate layoffs based on mass layoff data from state departments of labor. The job-cut report must be analyzed with caution. It doesn't distinguish between layoffs scheduled for the short-term or the long term, or whether job cuts are handled through attrition or actual layoffs. Also, the job-cut report does not include jobs eliminated in small batches over a longer time period. Unlike most economic data, this series is not adjusted for seasonal variation.

The job-cut report is basically a rehash of the weekly jobless claims report but provides additional insight into where layoffs are occurring. There is industry and geographic (states) detail that is not available with weekly jobless claims.