Challenger: Job Searches Dragging On Longer

June 20, 2003 ( - The amount of time managers and executives needed to find a new job hit a new high during the first quarter of 2003 - 128 days - according to an outplacement firm.

That was double the executive job-search time in Q2 2001 – 64 days – when the figure was at a record low, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The firm said in a news release that at the same time as it was taking longer to scare up new employment, executive severance packages lasted an average 2.3 months in the first quarter of 2003 – a record low. By comparison, during the first quarter of 1997, executives and managers could expect a six-month parachute package.

Other job-market trends from the Challenger report included that:

  • Public-sector employers have announced since January 1, 2003 that they are putting nearly 130,000 workers on the street . That was a 162%-increase over the same period a year ago.
  • One of the biggest job-cutting industries over the previous two years — telecommunications — has seen a dramatic decline in downsizing . After announcing more than 586,000 job cuts in 2001 and 2002, employers in this industry have announced only 30,497 job cuts through the first five months of 2003. That represented a 77%- decrease versus the same period a year ago.