March 12, 2014
The Sky May Not Be Falling: Despite seemingly weekly notices of huge layoffs, a new research report said 2006 cutbacks were not as severe as in 2005. Chicago consulting firm Challenger Gray & Christmas reports that overall job cuts in 2006 were 22 percent lower than in 2005, coming in at less than 1 million for the first time since 2000. Ironically, the slowdown in job cuts coincides with record cutbacks in the automotive industry, a bellwether of the economy. Automakers slashed nearly 159,000 positions in 2006, with industrial goods manufacturers the second-hardest hit (about 78,000 jobs). Other sectors that absorbed huge hits were government, nonprofits, computing, retail, media, chemicals and real estate. However, Challenger’s monthly research covers a small number of those who actually lose their jobs each month.