Challenger: July Workforce Reduction Heads North in a Hurry

August 5, 2003 ( - After dropping for two months, the number of July announced job cuts unexpectedly raced ahead.

According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, employers announced 85,117 planned job cuts – 43% ahead of June (59,715), which was a 31-month low (See June Job Cuts Lowest Since November 2002 ). Job cuts in 2003 have reached 715,649, 12% fewer than 816,493 last July. June announced job cuts were 13% below the May figure, while May’s figure represented a whopping 53% reduction from April.

On a quarterly basis, employers announced 274,737 job cuts in the second quarter, which is 23% lower than the 355,795 announced in the January through March 2003 period and 6% lower than the 292,393 figure announced in the second quarter of 2002.

The firm also announced that job seekers are taking an average of 20 weeks to find work.