Challenger: Nov. Job Cuts Fall But Still Heavy

December 3, 2002 ( - The number of announced November job cuts fell by 11% from October and 13% from a year ago, a regular survey by an outplacement firm shows.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, employers announced 157, 508 job reductions in November.

That compares with October¹s 176,010 (See Challenger Finds October Job Cuts Skyrocketing ) and the 181,412 job cuts announced in November 2001. Year-to-date, United States employers have announced 1,338,135 job cuts, 25% fewer than a year ago (1,795,292).  

Despite the decline from last year¹s record levels, John Challenger, chief executive officer, said that the 2002 job cuts,averaging over 121,000 per month, are extremely heavy by historical standards.Since January 2001, 3.3 million job cuts have been announced, more than in the previous five years combined, Challenger pointed out in a statement.

Heavy downsizing in the high-tech sector accounted for 34.4% of the planned November job cuts and 384,830 cuts year to date.

According to Challenger,
the 403,575 job cuts announced in the last three months are nearly three times more than the 135,638 job reductions announced during the same three-month period two years ago.

Telecom firms, which announced 16,909 job cuts in November, has ranked either first or second in 20 out of the last 23 months since January, 2001.