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Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Still cutting jobs, but less so

April 1, 2009

USA/Check Out the drop in job cuts. 

U.S.-based employers announced fewer plans to slash jobs for the second month in a row in March, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
 
In a new report, Challenger said employers announced 150,411 cuts in March, down 19.3 percent from the 186,350 cuts announced in February.  Plans to reduce staff were down in February too, which means we have seen the first two-month decrease in cuts since February-March 2007.

The March cuts were the lowest since October, when 112,884 planned job cuts were announced and come on the heels of a 23-percent decline recorded in February.

Yet, companies are still cutting much more jobs than they did a year ago.  In the first quarter 578,510 job cuts were announced, 188 percent more than the cuts announced in the first three months of 2008 and the largest quarterly total since 585,188 cuts were announced in the fourth quarter of 2001.

The government/non-profit sector set plans to cut more than 25,300 jobs in March, the biggest announcement in any area.
 
“State and local governments across the country are struggling with falling tax revenues as more and more people lose their jobs and homes,” said CEO John Challenger. He said state and local government should start to see “some relief” as the U.S. stimulus plan works its way into the economy.

Also in the basket:

Borders to cut 2009 costs by $120 million

Get “junk” food out of U.S. schools: PTA, diet group

Retail Fear and Closings in Las Vegas (WWD, subscription required)

Boats Too Costly to Keep Are Littering Coastlines (NY Times)

(Photo/Reuters)

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