Layoff Streak Still Hot in August

September 6, 2001 ( - American companies laid off 32% fewer workers in August than in July but that was still 140,019 pink slips, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

August’s total was 145% higher than a year ago.

In July, U.S. companies announced 205,975 job cuts, in what has been a dismal employment year (see July’s Job Cut Announcements Break Record ). So far in 2001, 1.12 million layoff announcements have been made, by far the greatest annual total in the eight-year history of the Challenger survey.

In fact, the total of 1,123,356 layoffs announced so far this year are only 165,736 fewer than the combined total for all of 1999 and 2000 according to Challenger.

However, the Challenger survey tracks announcements of job cuts, rather than the actual elimination.

Telecom Job Losses Heavy

Once again in August, telecommunications was the hardest-hit sector, shedding 38,087 jobs. The sector has announced 213,437 job cuts so far in 2001.

Also in August:

  • electronics companies laid off 20,788, bringing the yearly total to 102,769
  • financial companies announced 12,625 cuts

Economists expect a loss of 41,000 jobs in August from the Labor Department?s monthly report scheduled for a Friday release. The government collects data from 350,000 US work sites. July?s Labor Department report showed a 42,000-job loss.