Job Cut Announcements Skyrocket

February 5, 2002 ( - US job cuts announced in January skyrocketed 32% compared to December, even as the Department of Labor (DoL) released figures showing the unemployment rate dipping.

In January companies announced plans to fire 212,704 people, up from December’s figure of 161,584, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The January figure is the third largest since Challenger started its survey in 1993.

However, the most recent unemployment report from the DoL showed the rate dropping by 0.2% to 5.6% in January, down from December’s six-year high (see Unemployment Down to 5.6% ).

The fall, the first in eight months, brings the unemployment rate to its lowest level since before September’s terrorist attacks accelerated its ascent.