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Thursday AM August 5th, 2010

Employers shed six percent more workers in July than the previous month—the third consecutive monthly gain in announced job cuts. But downsizing remains at its lowest level since before the 2001 recession. Ed Mayberry reports.


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Job cuts have increaased every month since falling to a four-year low last April, but the increases have been small, averaging less than three percent. John Challenger with outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas says the total increase between April and last month measures 8.7 percent.

We did see downsizing jump to 41,676 in the month of July–workers who lost their jobs. And that was up now for the third consecutive month at about a three percent level each month. But these cuts are very low compared to what we were seeing last year, in fact, 57 percent fewer than we saw in July a year ago.

Seasonal trends indicate monthly job cuts tend to get heavier in the third quarter. Challenger says employers make last-minute adjustments to their payrolls to meet annual earnings goals.

We’ve now seen, really since last September, a very minimal level of job cuts–the kind you might see in good times, in non-recessionary times, as though companies have cut back during the recession to their core workforce. They’re not letting that many people go now. They’re kind of riding with the group they’ve got, waiting for a surge in demand. So far, that’s not come.

Government sector job cuts have slowed, but many state and local governments still face massive budget shortfalls. States and municipalities are trying to figure out how to replace money being lost from lower income, payroll and property tax revenue.

Ed Mayberry, KUHF News.

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