February Layoffs Slow – Some

March 5, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Employers laid off three times as many workers in February as a year ago, but 28% less than January's record level, according to a new survey.

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said American employers announced 101,731 layoffs in February, up from 35,415 a year ago.  However, the monthly total was down 28% from last month’s 142,208 – the highest level ever recorded in the survey’s eight year history.

According to the Challenger report, since the start of December 2000, planned job cuts have totaled 377,652 compared to 130,752 during the same three-month period a year ago.

Not surprisingly, the Challenger report notes that the automotive sector tops the layoff chart this year, with 57,656 job cut announcements, with 22,697 of those in February. Telecommunication firms had 42,879 planned layoffs to date, while retailers have announced 26,733 job cuts.

Thus far e-commerce companies have reported plans to cut 21,383 jobs, while computer companies are cutting 16,242 jobs.