Job Cut Announcements Take No Vacation in August

September 3, 2002 ( - Announced job cuts skyrocketed 46% in August after an earlier mid-summer lull dropped the layoff announcement figure to its lowest level in more than a year.

According to outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., hiring managers announced in August that they were going to put 118,067 on the street. That was the third highest figure of the year, the first time in four months when the layoff figure broke the 100,000 mark, and 16% lower than August 2001.

August’s figures stood in stark contrast to July’s performance. That’s when there were 80,966 planned job-cuts – 15% less than June.

Still Better Than 2001

So far, 934,560 job cuts have been announced in 2002, 17% lower than the 1,123,356 job eliminations announced through August 2001, Challenger said.

If the current job-cut pace, averaging 116,820 per month, continues, job cuts will finish well below the 2001 year-end figure of 1,956,876.  However, 2002 will still rank as the second highest job-cut year since tracking began in 1989, Challenger researchers said.

For only the second time this year, telecommunications did not rank among the top three job-cutting industries.  Firms in that sector announced just 12,656 cuts in August, 37% lower than July¹s 20,196 and 49% below the sector¹s 2002 monthly average of 24,825. 

Telecommunications still leads all other industries in year-to-date job cuts, having announced 198,601 through August.