Retail Jobs Feel 9/11 Aftershock

April 8, 2002 ( - Three-quarters of the job cuts announced in the retail sector in the last year occurred after the September terrorist attacks, according to a new report by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

In fact, between April 2001 and March 31, 2002, 109,516 were slated for elimination, of which 83,237 or 76% were announced after September 11, the report shows.

Remarkably, Challenger reports, the retail job cuts announced since the attacks exceed the year-end retail job-cut total for every year since 1993, with the exception of 2000 and 2001, the two highest years on record, with 94,482 and 96,741 retail job cuts, respectively.

The pace of retail job cuts, which increased dramatically after the attacks, continued to rise in 2002. According to Challenger only the first quarter of 2002, at 51,078, announced retail cuts are already half last year’s record total of 96,741 cuts.

Challenger’s analysis of the retail sector also shows that:

  • first-quarter cuts are 33% higher than the first quarter of 2001, when job cuts over the quarter stood at 38,303
  • monthly retail cuts have increased over the previous month in seven of the last nine months
  • the 2002 first-quarter figure is larger than the year end totals for 1998, 1996, 1995, and 1994
  • since 1993, some 586,523 cuts have been announced by retail firms, 41% of which have occurred since 2000.

Since September 11, Challenger said it has tracked 1,229,129 job cut announcements covering all industries