July Job Slide Worst In Year

Tuesday August 07 by Ron Jarvis
U.S. layoffs rose 65 percent to a record level in July, led by telecommunications, computer, electronic and industrial companies. This according to a report by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. released yesterday. Announced job cuts in July hit 205,975, up from 124,852 in June. July's total was more than three times the level of job cuts recorded in the same month last year.

`Job cuts tell us as much about the economy's future as they do about the present. Companies are looking at their staffing needs for the balance of 2001 and the numbers do not present a very positive picture,'' said John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The survey began in 1993.

For the first half of 2001, U.S. companies said they planned to cut 777,362 jobs, more than three times the number announced during the first six months of last year. The telecom sector overtook the technology sector in July in recording the highest number of job-cut announcements. With 44,908 jobs cuts announced in July, the total number of layoffs announced in the sector hit 175,350 for the first seven months this year. Technology companies announced 26,321 layoffs in July bringing the total to 101,044 for the year to date.

In Arizona, cuts by telecom and semiconductor Motorola have been offset by other firms hiring in small numbers for a smaller net job loss. Companies are actually hiring in the energy and defense sectors.

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