April showed job cuts at their lowest in the last six months. But the April job cut total was 47 percent higher than for the same month last year. Here are some more findings from a recent report.


I got a press release from outplacement company Challenger, Gray, and Christmas, Inc., today announcing “Job Cuts Fall For Third Month In A Row.” The subhead said there were only 132,590 job cuts announced in April, which was the lowest monthly total in six months. The number of April job cuts represented a 12-percent drop from the 150,411 layoffs recorded in March.

(But for a little perspective: The April total was 47 percent higher than the 90,015 job cuts announced the same month in 2008. Employers have announced 711,100 job cuts this year, which was 145 percent more than in the first four months of 2008 (290,671).)

Other notes from the press release:

  • The government and non-profit sector saw the highest number of job cuts, with 27,624. These cuts were led by New York City, which announced 13,500 cuts.
  • Industrial-goods companies have announced 78,968 job cuts through the first four months of 2009. That is up 377 percent from a year ago, when job cuts at that point totaled 16,569.
  • The retail sector has seen an equally large increase in job cuts. The number of planned layoffs has surged 320 percent from 18,933 in the first four months of 2008 to 79,475 job cuts so far this year. Retail ranks second behind the automotive sector for the most job cuts announced this year.