November Planned Job Cuts Plummet

December 2, 2003 ( - There was good news in the latest monthly report on planned job cuts, with word that the November totals were down 42% from the month before.

The November data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas showed employers planned 99,452 job cuts, down from the 12-month high in October of 171,874. The November figure was 37% lower than the 157,508 cuts a year ago.

So far this year, employers have announced 1,143,406 job cuts, down 17% from the 11-month total of 1,373,906 in 2002.

November job cuts were led by the telecommunications sector, which announced 18,183 cuts during the month. It was only the second time this year that this sector led all other industries in monthly employment reductions. In 2002, telecommunications was the biggest job-cutting sector in seven out of 12 months.

After 11 months, government/non-profit employers remain the largest downsizers, having announced 169,924 job cuts. Telecommunications now ranks second with 102,602.

Retail, temporary help service firms, and food and drinking establishments were some of the top job creators in November. Weekly earnings in each averaged $366, $318, and $225, respectively. All are 30% to 57% below the national average of $521 per week for all industries, according to Challenger.