Survey: 2.5M U.S. jobs slashed since 9/11

By AL SWANSON   |   March 25, 2003 at 12:19 PM

CHICAGO, March 25 (UPI) -- American businesses have eliminated more than 2.5 million jobs since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

There were 1.6 million job cuts announced between Sept. 11, 2001, and Feb. 28, 2003, compared with 880,229 during the 18 months before the Sept. 11 attacks, according to international outplacement specialist Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

The Chicago-based executive recruitment firm, which tracks job cut announcements on a daily basis, said that aerospace, defense, transportation, telecommunications, consumer goods, industrial goods and retail saw a 54 percent increase in job cuts during the past 18 months.

Aircraft manufacturers like Boeing Co. and commercial airlines like United, Northwest, Continental, Delta and American have shed 226,674 workers since Sept. 11.

The aerospace and airline industries announced a combined 90,999 job cuts in the 18 months before the terror attacks.

John A. Challenger, the firm's chief executive officer, said uncertainty over the geopolitical situation would probably keep job growth very slow and there is a possibility of more layoffs because of declining factory orders and rising fuel costs.

"It is looking as if the war on terror, which began with the hunt for Osama bin Laden and has now expanded to Saddam Hussein, will not be as swift as some were assuming," he said.

"As a result, uncertainty among corporate America, especially the growing number of firms doing business internationally, will continue."

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