Economy Bleeds Jobs in April

May 2, 2002 ( - The bloodletting on the job front, particularly in the troubled telecommunications industry, continued in April, as US companies announced plans to axe 112,649 jobs.

The figure represents a 10% hike on the 102,315 jobs that were put on the butcher block in March, and the 16th time in 17 months that job cuts have exceeded 100,000, according to data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The telecommunications sector has downsized the most, both on a monthly and on an annual basis. In April a third of the positions eliminated were from this sector, which slashed some 38,176 jobs over the month, 75% higher than the cuts it made in March.

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Over the month, hefty cuts were also made in:

  • the automotive sector, which took the scissors to some 13,297 jobs
  • the services sector, which hemorrhaged 10,776
  • the financial sector, which slashed 8,648.

Still, the latest monthly figures are 32% lower than the 165,564 job cuts announced in April 2001, though significantly higher than their level in 2000, when the unemployment rate was flirting with historical lows, according to the outplacement firm.


Through the first four months of this year, some 555,783 job cuts have been announced, just 3%, or 16,587 fewer than the 572,370 job cuts announced over the same period in 2001.

According to Challenger’s data, the four-month average in 2002 at around 140,000 is more than five times greater than the monthly average recorded during the height of the recession in the early 1990s, which was just under 26,000.

The struggling telecommunications industry has announced 120,698, or 22% of all job-cut announcements in 2002.