US: Challenger Job-Cut Report

Thu Mar 31 06:30:00 CDT 2016

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Announced Layoffs - Level 48,207 61,599

The number of layoff announcements fell to 48,207 in March vs 61,599 in February and 36,594 in March last year. The latest reading is roughly in the middle of trend and isn't offering any unusual signals for tomorrow's employment report. The energy sector, where layoff announcements were very severe in February and January, eased back to second in the industry list, at 7,747 and behind retail where the most announcements were made in March at 8,490. Health care was second at 6,236.

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.