January Job Cuts Jump 15% to Nearly 62,975; But Down 39% YoY: Challenger Survey

In January, U.S. employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 62,975 jobs, up 15% from 54,643 in December, - on cost cutting; downturn in demand; and the closing of facilities - according to monthly downsizing data released by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Other Highlights:

The January figure was 39% lower than the same month a year ago when employers announced 103,466 job cuts.

Last month represents the lowest January since 2000, when job-cut announcements totaled 50,655.

Job cuts have been trending downward since reaching a peak of 1,956,876 in 2001.  January marks the 15th time in the last 18 months that the monthly total was lower than the year-ago figure.  

The 9,275 telecom job cuts in January were the largest number of cuts since 10,059 were announced last September.  Telecom firms announced only 45,947 job cuts for all of 2006, down 34% from 70,128 announced in 2005. 

Pharmaceutical was another major source of job cuts in January with 8,279 pharma job cuts, mostly from Pfizer. Job cuts in this industry are already more than halfway to surpassing the 2006 year-end total of 15,638.

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