June Job Cuts Lowest Since November 2002

July 1, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Announced job cuts by US employers dropped for the second straight month in June to the lowest level in 31 months.

According to a monthly report from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, planned employment reductions dipped 13% to 59,715 in June from the 68,623 announced in May. May’s figure in turn, was a whopping 53% lower than April’s 146,399 (See  Challenger: May Job Cuts Dive to 30-Month Low ). The June 2003 figure was also 37% lower than the 94,766 job cuts announced in June 2002, according to Challenger.

On a quarterly basis, employers announced 274,737 job cuts in the second quarter, which is 23% lower than the 355,795 announced in the January through March 2003 period and 6% lower than the 292,393 figure announced in the second quarter of 2002. Year to date, there have been 630,532 announced job cuts, 14% below the mid-year total recorded in 2002 (735,527).

To put these figures in perspective, by June 2001, the largest job-cut year on record, employers had announced 777,362 job reductions.

While June was only the second time in 2003 that the government/non-profit sector led all other industries in monthly job cuts (7,728), it has managed to build a substantial lead in year-to-date job cuts. The 136,493 job cuts announced in that sector between January and June is 75,650 or 124% higher than the second-ranked retail sector (60,843).