Challenger, Gray and Christmas reported good news today, as only 38K of you were told to get lost in May. Hey, I just realized they forgot to mention that only 10% of you have been unemployed for like two years now and that 17% of you are making a lot less money than you use to, supported now by the money you make delivering pizza part-time and from unemployment benefit extensions. Well, at least we don't have to wear monkey-suits anymore.
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Challenger Job-Cuts Report May 2010
Challenger, Gray & Christmas today reported announced corporate layoffs (job cuts) for the month of May. The count of soon-to-be-jobless edged up 1.3% from a four-year low level recorded in April. The exact count, at 38,810, matched against last year's blood-letting of 111,182 (65% lower count this May). Year-to-date in 2010, announced job-cuts ranked 69% lower than last year. Still, 258,319 people were told to pack up and get lost just the same.
Challenger was amazed at the low level of job-cuts ahead of the slow summer season. However, the data-minders noted one area of increasing layoffs - government. Remember when we were writing about that here about two years ago? Well, it happened and is in fact still going on, as municipalities are laying off firemen, policemen, street cleaners and all those ridiculous parking meter readers that clog up the sidewalk. That's a good thing though; not so much because of the better opportunities to park illegally, but because of the eye-sore they present to my otherwise metro-cool neighborhood.
Can somebody tell me why meter readers have to wear full-body polyester uniforms (usually oversized) in 90 degree heat? It's just painful to watch, and they look like clowns in their two-sizes too big gray jump suits. Who is Bloomberg's Fashion Director anyway? That guy should be fired! Anyway, in actuality, it makes less sense to fire guys who bring in income (like the clowns), so WSG suggests cutting the firemen and keeping the ticket writers on. If a few houses burn down in the process, well that will just reduce real estate inventory and serve to stabilize prices right...
Challenger's Job-Cuts Report notes correctly that most politicians (definitely New Jersey governors) are reluctant to raise taxes now, and so are just cutting services. That's why our streets resemble Bangalore's!
Challenger's Job-Cuts Report is the first of several monthly labor market data points scheduled for announcement this week. These will all lead up to the all-important Employment Situation Report from the Department of Labor, due this Friday. Economists are looking for the unemployment rate to ease to 9.8% for May. Also, census hiring should help the nonfarm payrolls count to rise; economists are expecting a net increase of 540K jobs in May.
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