Planned Job Cut Figure Plummets in September

October 1, 2002 ( - If plans to put employees on the street are an indicator of a recovering economy, then future economic times should be bright.

The latest monthly report of planned downsizings from an international outplacement firm reported that September’s figure dropped a whopping 41% to 70,057, the lowest figure in 22 months, from August¹s 118,067. See Job Cut Announcements Take No Vacation in August

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, September 2002 was 72% lower than a year earlier when employers announced 248,332 job cuts, the highest monthly figure on record. That was immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks.

September 2002¹s figure of 70,057 represents the lowest number of job cuts announced since 44,152 job cuts were announced in November, 2000, Challenger said.

In terms of individual sectors, transportation led all industries in September job cuts with 17,646, a 60% increase from the 11,060 job cuts announced by firms in this sector in August.  

The telecommunications industry, which has been the top job cutter in five out of nine months in 2002, ranked second in September with 6,956, down 45% from an August figure of 12,565.

The 269,090 job cuts announced in the third quarter of 2002 were 8% lower than the second-quarter figure of 292,393 and 55% below the same quarter a year ago when employers announced an unprecedented 594,326 job cuts in three months.
Despite the monthly drop, the 2002 job-cut total surged to 1,004,617, making this year the second time in 13 years of job-cut tracking that annual cuts exceeded one million –  the only other time being the year 2001 (1,956,876).