Thursday, December 4, 2008

Over 1 million U.S. layoffs so far this year

Over 1 million U.S. layoffs so far this year

San Francisco Chronicle

(12-03) 19:28 PST -- Big employers nationwide announced 181,671 layoffs in November, bringing the number of corporate pink slips issued so far this year to more than a million, according to an industry survey released Wednesday.

The survey, by the Chicago outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, marks November as the worst month for layoffs since January 2002, when large employers cut nearly 250,000 jobs as the nation was trying to shake off the prior-year recession and the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Challenger survey is not a statistical sample of all employers like the unemployment report that the Labor Department will issue Friday. But it is a good barometer of corporate hirings and firings that has kept a running tally of company-announced layoffs each month since 1993.

The worst annual showing in the survey's 15-year history was the 1.96 million layoffs recorded in 2001. Last year, the report counted 768,264 pink slips.

About half of the job cuts announced in November occurred in the financial sector, where Citigroup alone said it would eliminate 50,000 jobs. So far this year, financial firms have announced more than 220,000 layoffs, more than a fifth of the total announced losses.

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