August Job Cuts Up for Second Month

September 7, 2004 ( - Corporate hiring managers put 74,150 on the street in August - the second straight increase and a rise over July to the highest job-cut total in six months.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas said in a news release that its latest monthly survey also found that companies planned to hire 132,105 new workers in the new future.

August job cuts were 6.6% higher than July (69,572), and was the highest job-cut month since last February when employers announced 77,250 job cuts. The job eliminations were 7.2% lower than the 79,925 job cuts announced in the same month a year ago.

Employers have now announced 616,457 job cuts in 2004, 23% fewer than the 795,574 cuts announced through August, 2003.

The heaviest job cuts during the month came from the financial sector with 13,153. The sector also leads all other industries in year-to-date job cuts, with 78,167 — 33% more than the second-ranked industrial goods industry (58,639).

The 13,000 job cuts announced in the financial sector in August were not quite offset by hiring plans. Employers in the sector announced plans to add 10,239 workers. The biggest additions in the months ahead will come from retailers, who announced plans to hire 83,450 new employees.