U.S. employers announced fewer job cuts in the first quarter than in any first quarter since 1995, according to a report released Wednesday by the Challenger, Gray & Christmas outplacement firm.
Employers announced 130,749 job cuts in the first three months of the year — 28 percent fewer than in the same period of 2010, Challenger said. The three-month tally is the lowest first-quarter total since 1995, when employers announced 97,716 job cuts.
In March, employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 41,528 jobs — down 18 percent from February and 39 percent from a year ago, Challenger said.
In Georgia, Challenger tracked only 168 planned layoffs in March.
Once again, the public sector dominated monthly job cuts across the country, accounting for 46 percent of March layoff announcements, Challenger said. The 19,099 planned job cuts announced by government and non-profit organizations increased 17 percent from February.
If there is any silver lining in the government layoff numbers, it is that they are down 62 percent from a year ago, Challenger said.
“Despite the decline from last year, it is difficult to be optimistic about the outlook for government workers,” Rick Cobb, executive vice president of Challenger, said in a statement. “Most cities and states have only just begun to address their massive budget deficits and we have yet to see how budget cutbacks are going to impact workers at the federal level.”
Cobb said “the good news is that other areas of the economy appear to have stabilized in terms of downsizing activity. … The hope is that a few months of even slightly stronger hiring in the private sector will tip the scales toward accelerated job creation.”
- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat
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