Job Cuts Plunge 42% in March; Housing Cuts Surge 346% from Q1 2006
Employers announced 48,997 cuts in March, 42% fewer than the 84,014 job cuts in February and the lowest level since last July (37,178). March was 25% lower than in the same month a year ago, when 64,975 job cuts were announced, according to the March job-cut report by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
Job cuts in housing-related industries (real estate, construction and mortgage lending) surged 346% to 21,245 from 4,764 in the first quarter a year ago. The first-quarter total for these three sectors nearly matches the 2006 total of 22,814.
First-quarter job cuts totaled 195,986, 23% lower than the 255,878 job cuts announced in the first three months of 2006. First-quarter job cuts were 2.5 percent lower than the fourth quarter of 2006.
- Financial institutions led all other industries in job cuts in March, with 7,070 announced cuts. Of those, 4,478 or 63 percent were among mortgage lenders.
- Pharmaceutical firms announced 14,018 job cuts in the first quarter, more than triple the 4,195 job cuts by these companies in the first three months of 2006.
- Media job cuts have increased 93 percent, going from 2,274 in the first quarter of 2006 to 4,391 in the first quarter of this year.