Good News: Challenger job cuts at lowest level since 1995; public sector make up 46% of total

Challenger's layoff count fell to 41,528 in March vs 50,702 in February and 67,611 in March last year.  Even more important, it is the lowest Q1 layoff total since 1995, when the Dow broke 4,000 for the first time. 

And, even more important, goverment layoffs represented when  Aerospace/defense, retail, and autos all saw significant month-to-month declines in layoff announcements, while telecommunications and media both saw increases. Quarterly layoff announcements come to 130,749 for the lowest first-quarter total since 1995.

Even more important for those who believe in limited government.  Government jobs dominated the job numbers as a full 46% of the job cuts came from the public sector. 

This report together with the easing underway in jobless claims confirm that businesses are no longer cutting their workforces. But are they building them up?  Via Challenger:
While government-sector job cuts rose to their highest level in 12 months, the pace of downsizing declined in March as employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 41,528 jobs during the month, down 18 percent from 50,702 job cuts announced in February.

The report on March job-cut announcements released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. revealed that March job cuts were down 39 percent from a year ago, when employers announced 67,611 job cuts.

Overall, employers have announced 130,749 job cuts through the first quarter, 28 percent fewer than the 181,183 planned layoffs announced in the same period of 2010. The three-month tally is, in fact, the lowest first quarter total since 1995, when employers announced 97,716 job cuts from January through March.

Once again, the public sector dominated monthly job cuts, accounting for 19,099 or 46 percent of all March layoffs. The 19,099 planned job cuts announced by government and non-profit organizations increased 17 percent from 16,380 in February. It is the highest monthly total for this sector since March 2010, when it reached 50,604.


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