US: Challenger Job-Cut Report

February 2, 2017 06:30 CST

Actual Previous
Announced Layoffs - Level 45,934 33,627

January is often a heavy month for layoff announcements as it was this year, at 45,934 in Challenger's count. Though this is up from 33,627 in December and is the highest total since April last year, it does compare favorably to 75,114 in January last year and 53,041 in the January before that. Retail saw 22,491 post-holiday layoffs for by far the largest industry total in the month. Layoff announcements, in line with actual jobless claims, came down steadily through last year.

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.