Job Cuts at Record Highs in 2001

December 27, 2001 ( - Between January and the close of November 2001, companies announced almost 1.8 million job cuts - almost triple the 2000 total and the largest number since Challenger Grey and Christmas began keeping score in 1993.

The outplacement firm totals the figures from mass layoff announcements. Job losses from terminations, early retirements and attrition are not included in the total.

Prior to 2001, the worst year for layoffs was 1998, when 677,795 job cuts were announced.

Since September’s terrorist attacks, US companies have announced 624,411 job cuts, a number that exceeds the annual totals in each year between 1993 and 1997. The situation has also been exacerbated by the increase in mergers in recent years and the frenzy of hiring that occurred in the late 1990s, according to Challenger.

While more jobs were lost in the telecommunications sector in November, with 292,756 cuts made, on an annual basis, the cuts occurred primarily in the following sectors:

· manufacturing,
· high technology and
· travel,