US: Challenger Job-Cut Report

Thu Oct 05 06:30:00 CDT 2017

Actual Previous
Announced Layoffs - Level 32,346 33,825

Layoff announcements remain low and stable, at 32,346 in September vs 33,825 in August and well down from 44,324 in September last year. The result along with yesterday's ADP report are positive indications for tomorrow's September employment report where hurricanes are an unknown wild card.

Challenger also tracks hiring announcements and here the news is not positive. Hiring intentions in September, which largely reflect holiday plans in the retail sector, fell to 422,726 vs 487,075 in September last year. The decline underscores retail's move toward e-commerce and hints at payroll trouble for the fourth quarter's employment reports.

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.