Announced Job Cuts Moderate in May

June 4, 2002 ( - Planned job cuts announced by American companies fell by 25% over the month of May and 6% over the year, according to data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The figure, which stood at 112,649 in April, fell to 84,978 – the lowest figure in 12 months, and the first time since May last year that job-cut announcement fell below the 100,000 mark, Challenger reports.

Total 2002 job cuts now stand at 640,761, 1.8% lower than the 652,510 job cuts announced through May 2001.

Broken Telephones

According to Challenger’s latest report, for the third consecutive month, telecommunications firms are still wielding the heaviest job-cutting ax. After making heavy cuts in April, in May the industry announced plans to trim a further 14,687 jobs.

Telecommunications also tops all other industries in terms of year-to-date job cuts.  The sector’s 135,385 job cuts is 73% higher than the second-ranked automotive industry, which announced 78,346 cuts in 2002, Challenger notes.

The financial sector job cuts increased for the third consecutive month in May and year-to-date cuts of 42,691 are 20% ahead of the 35,436 job cuts announced in May last year, Challenger noted.