The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Fewest Job Cuts Announced Last Year Since 1997, Challenger Says

By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

WASHINGTON — Planned job cuts by U.S. businesses declined in December for the second-straight month, helping 2014 post the fewest announced layoffs in 17 years, career counseling firm Challenger Gray and Christmas said Thursday.

“Layoffs aren’t simply at pre-recession levels, they are at pre-2001-recession levels,” said John A. Challenger, the firm’s chief executive.

“This bodes well for job seekers, who will not only find more employment opportunities in 2015, but will enjoy increased job security once they are in those new positions,” he said.

U.S. firms announced 32,640 layoffs in December, down 9.2 percent from the previous month, Challenger said.

For the year, there were 483,171 planned job cuts, down 5 percent from last year. That was the fewest since 1997, according to Challenger.

The figures are consistent with accelerating job growth.

The U.S. economy added more than 200,000 net new jobs for ten straight months beginning in February, including a robust 321,000 in November.

Economists forecast the December figure, to be released Friday by the Labor Department, will be 245,000.

Initial jobless claim figures Thursday also were in line with a strong labor market.

About 294,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, down 4,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said.

The less-volatile four-week average fell slightly to 290,500, a level consistent with a healthy labor market.

California, the nation’s most populous state, had the most announced job cuts last year with 83,433, Challenger said. That was more than double the amount for New York, which was second.

The large number of layoffs in California was partly due to a surge in job cuts by computer companies.

The industry announced 59,528 layoffs last year, a 69 percent increase from the previous year. Many of those layoffs came from Palo Alto-based Hewlett-Packard Co., as well as Microsoft Corp., Challenger said.

The entertainment industry, which also has a strong California presence, also saw a major increase in planned layoffs last year. The figure more than doubled to 32,235.

The sector ranked fourth nationally. Overall, planned layoffs were down in 16 of 28 industries tracked by Challenger.

Retail companies had the second-most planned layoffs last year at 43,783, but that was down 11 percent from the previous year.

The healthcare industry was third with 38,359, which was a decrease from 52,637 in 2013, Challenger said.

AFP Photo/Scott Olson

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

This is the first of what is sure to be way too many campaign columns to come. If you’d like them to land in your email inbox every time I write one, please buy a subscription.

Keep reading...Show less

Tape of home invasion attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul Pelosi

Youtube Screenshot

Video released Friday of the harrowing home invasion and assault that nearly killed then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband in October brought little in the way of self-reflection or regret from far-right Internet trolls and Fox News stars who spent months baselessly insisting that the attack had actually resulted from a gay tryst gone wrong. Instead, the denizens of the right-wing conspiracy theory ecosystem either claimed that the new evidence proved that they were right all along, or used it to float additional conspiracy theories about why it hadn’t been released earlier.

The key facts were available within hours of the October 28, 2022, attack. Law enforcement swiftly alleged that David DePape broke into the Democratic leader’s home in the middle of the night seeking to harm her and pummeled her 82-year-old husband Paul, sending him to the hospital for emergency surgery. Journalists who reviewed DePape’s Internet history subsequently revealed that he had been radicalized online and espoused a wide array of right-wing conspiracy theories, including QAnon.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}