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Planned job cuts in US drop to 41,785 in Dec

Last updated on: January 6, 2012 14:49 IST

Planned job cuts in US drop to 41,785 in Dec

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Himani Kumar in Chicago

Planned job cuts announced by US employers declined in December to 41,785, the lowest monthly total since June, says a report by global outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The December total was down 1.6 per cent from 42,474 job cuts in November. Last month was up 31 per cent from December 2010, when employers announced just 32,004 job cuts.

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Image: A man walks down Villard Avenue, a once active area dominated by factories that now have mostly closed in the 1st district where unemployment numbers are high.
Photographs: Darren Hauck/Reuters.

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"Job cuts in 2011 were dominated by the government and financial sectors. These two alone accounted for 41 per cent of all the job cuts announced last year.

"The 183,064 government job cuts represent a record high for that sector, since we started tracking it in 2002. And, while the financial sector did not come close to its record high, annual cuts for the sector were up 165 percent from 2010," said John A Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

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Image: sign marks the entrance to a job fair in New York.
Photographs: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters.

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"Unfortunately, these sectors are likely to continue to struggle in 2012. Washington is under immense pressure to cut spending and it looks like every deal to extend tax cuts,

raise the debt ceiling and pass the budget will come with measures to cut spending, which can be expected to result in more job cuts," he said.

While 2011 went out like a lamb in terms of downsizing activity, with employers announcing an average of just 42,339 job cuts per month over the final quarter of the year, the yearend job-cut total of 606,082 was 14 per cent higher than the 529,973 job cuts announced in 2010.

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Image: Mervin Sealy from Hickory, North Carolina, takes part in a protest rally outside the Capitol Building in Washington.
Photographs: Jason Reed/Reuters.
Tags: , Washington , US

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"Unfortunately, these sectors are likely to continue to struggle in 2012. Washington is under immense pressure to cut spending and it looks like every deal to extend tax cuts, raise the debt ceiling and pass the budget will come with measures to cut spending, which can be expected to result in more job cuts," he said.

While 2011 went out like a lamb in terms of downsizing activity, with employers announcing an average of just 42,339 job cuts per month over the final quarter of the year, the yearend job-cut total of 606,082 was 14 per cent higher than the 529,973 job cuts announced in 2010.

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Image: People wait in line to enter a job fair in New York.
Photographs: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters.
Tags: , Washington , US

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Planned job cuts in US drop to 41,785 in Dec

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A large portion of the 2010 job cut increase occurred in September, when job cuts hit a 29-month high of 115,730, more than double the 2011 monthly average of 50,507.

Of the September cuts, 80,000, or nearly 70 per cent of the total, came from just two organizations: Bank of America and the United States Army.



Image: A worker stands in front of a construction site in San Francisco.
Photographs: Robert Galbraith/Reuters.

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