US Challenger: 66,414 Layoffs in July vs 41,432 June

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–Layoffs From Merck, Borders, Cisco, Lockheed, Boston Scientific
Account for 57%, or 38,100, of July Job Cuts

By Kevin Kastner

WASHINGTON (MNI) – There were 66,414 layoff intentions announced in
July, up sharply from 41,432 in June and from the 41,676 job cuts
announced in July 2010, job placement firm Challenger, Gray and
Christmas, Inc. said in a report released Wednesday. The data are not
seasonally adjusted.

The July layoff total was the larger since March 2010, when there
were 67,611 layoffs announced.

Layoffs in July were led by the pharmaceutical sector, which
reported 13,493 job reductions in the month, with almost all of which
came from Merck.

Layoff announcements from five large companies–Merck, Borders,
Cisco, Lockheed Martin, and Boston Scientific–accounted for 38,100, or
57%, of total July layoffs.

“It has been a couple of years since we have seen this level of
private sector job cuts coming in a single month,” noted John
Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

“The spurt of layoff announcements in July also stood out because
they came from major employers in bellwether industries, all within a
span of a few days,” he added. “A casual observer certainly might
conclude that the wheels just fell off the recovery wagon.”

However, Challenger noted that while there should be some concern
regarding this jump in layoffs in key sectors, it is still important to
remember that jobs cuts over the last year have been extremely low.

In other data released, hiring intentions fell to 10,706 in July
from 15,498 in June, but were up from 8,151 in July 2010. July hiring
plans were led by the retail sector.

** Market News International Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **



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