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Challenger: Planned layoffs spike during July

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The 48,361 job cuts announced by computer firms this year is 85 percent more than the second-ranked retail industry, which has announced 29,046 job cuts this year, including 2,183 in July. The year-to-date retail total is down 16% from a year ago (34,694).

“The large job cuts in the computer industry are certainly not a sign of a stalling economy. The fact is, these are companies that are trying to adjust to where the growth is occurring. The economy is on an upward trajectory, as evidenced by the fact that 18 of the 28 industries we track have seen job cuts decline this year. Even among those with increased job cuts, the year-to-date totals are relatively low by historical standards,” noted Challenger.

“As layoffs continue to decline, along with unemployment rates, perhaps the biggest threat to economic growth going forward is the shortage of skilled workers. Some industries and some regions of the country are already experiencing labor shortages. Houston, for example, has flourished thanks to a resurgence in the energy markets, but worries over a shrinking talent pool has area businesses partnering with junior colleges, high schools and social service agencies to prepare workers for the skilled trade jobs being created by the thousands,” he said.

“In Detroit, demand for accountants is leading to increased salaries, referral and signing bonuses, and generous perks. Candidates are being wined and dined and taken to sporting events by senior partners in the big accounting firms, according to a recent article in Crain’s Detroit Business,” he added.

“Granted, there are still several major metropolitan areas still struggling with high unemployment, but jobless rates are falling around the country and barring any shock to the economy over the next five to 10 years, labor shortages are likely to spread.”

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