Layoff announcements jumped in May

May 31, 2012 at 1:56 PM
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CHICAGO, May 31 (UPI) -- U.S. employers announced a reduction of 61,887 jobs in May, the most since September, a private research group said.

Total job cuts announced for the month were up 53 percent from the previous month's total of 40,559 announced job cuts, outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas said Thursday.

The month's total is 67 percent higher than May 2011, when job cut announcements came to 37,135.

For the year to date, layoff announcements, at 245,540, are 20 percent higher than they were in the same period in 2011.

A month ago the year-to-date total was 9 percent higher than the first four months of 2011.

The report said job cuts in May were "dominated" by the computer industry, which announced 27,754 layoffs in the month.

The bulk of these cuts came from Hewlett-Packard, which announced 27,000 job cuts, a move that was long anticipated.

For the year to date, the computer sector has announced 32,599 job cuts. More are likely, said Challenger, Gray & Christmas chief executive officer John Challenger.

"We may see more job cuts from the computer sector in the months ahead. While consumers and businesses are spending more on technology, the spending appears to favor a handful of companies. Those that are struggling to keep up with the rapidly changing trends and consumer tastes are shuffling workers to new projects or laying them off, altogether," said Challenger.

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