Job Cuts At Highest Level Since November, Firm Says

March 4, 2003 ( - Announced job cuts surged in February for the second consecutive month, reaching their highest level since November 2002.

Planned job cuts announced by United States employers reached 138,177 in February, up 5% from January and 8% since February 2002.   With the increase, job reductions have reached their highest level since November’s 157,508 mark (See  Nov. Job Cuts Fall But Still Heavy ), according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The firm’s chief executive, John Challenger, said the recent job cuts do not bode well for the coming months: “It now appears that economic uncertainties and war talk have put the brakes on business spending plans and companies are once again in a serious cost-cutting mode.”

February continued the escalation of job cuts seen since September 2002.   Between March and August of last year, job cutbacks averaged 98,957 per month. However, since then, the monthly average has climbed back to 127,815; a 29% increase over the previous six months.