US: Challenger Job-Cut Report

Wed Jul 01 06:30:00 CDT 2015

Actual Previous
Announced Layoffs - Level 44,842 41,034

Layoff announcements rose in June, to 44,842 from 41,034 in May and well up from an unusually low 31,434 in June last year. The trend is also moving up, at 147,458 for the second quarter vs 140,214 in the first quarter and against 124,693 in second quarter last year. For the first half, announcements totaled 287,672 for a 17 percent increase from a year ago. Retail produced the most layoff announcements in June followed by the chemical industry.

The rise in Challenger's count has yet to inflate jobless claims which remain near historic lows. Announcements sometimes take months before jobs are actually cut so today's results, though a negative for the outlook, are not 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.