Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Casually Observing a Hemorrhage

The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms rose to a 16-month high in July as sectors which had been seeing fairly few layoffs unexpectedly bled jobs, a report on Wednesday showed.

Employers announced 66,414 planned job cuts last month, up 60.3 percent from 41,432 in June.


Layoffs in the pharmaceutical and retail sectors overtook nonprofit and government job cuts last month, accounting for 20.32 percent and 16.93 percent of announcements respectively.

Job cuts at Merck & Co., Borders, Cisco Systems, Lockheed Martin and Boston Scientific accounted for 57 percent of the July total, according to Challenger, making July the first month in seven when the government sector did not shed the most jobs.

"A casual observer certainly might conclude that the wheels just fell off the recovery wagon," said Challenger.


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