Fewer Layoff Announcements in February

March 5, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A further sign that the pace of layoffs is abating, planned job cuts were down almost 40% in February, to levels not seen since June of last year, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas's monthly survey.

While 128,115 layoff actions were announced in February, significantly fewer than January’s 212,704 total, Challenger cautions that any figure above the 100,000 level shows that businesses are still focusing on cutting back.

Still, the figure is well below the peak of 248,332 reached in September 2001.

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In February, telecommunications companies slashed the most jobs, announcing 35,937 layoffs, bringing the year-to-date total to 60,691. The auto industry was not far behind, announcing 59,353 job eliminations year-to-date. The government and non-profit sector plan to cut 41,108 jobs.

Challenger tracks the number of jobs slated for elimination, through layoffs, firings, retirements or voluntary departures.

The survey follows the release of Challenger’s latest job cut data in the technology sector, which showed the number of dot.com positions cut in February falling by almost two thirds from the previous month’s level (see Tech Job Cuts Falling ).