The outplacement firm notes that the number of job cuts announced for the September 1 to December 31 period in five of the last seven years was nearly 40% above those announced for the May through August period.
The second-heaviest layoff period has been January through April, but that’s still 20% lower than September-to-December, according to Challenger.
CEO John Challenger said things could be even worse this year with a host of factors shrinking corporate 2003 budgets like soaring health care costs and continuing fear of more corporate scandals.
Not only that, but growth in the service sector has slowed significantly and manufacturers have hired fewer temporary workers and slashed overtime hours, Challenger pointed out. “This all indicates that employers are not very optimistic about a rebound any time soon,” he said in a statement.