Planned layoffs by U.S. companies in April increased 68 percent compared to planned layoffs in March, hitting the highest levels seen since September 2006, according to a report released today by employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
U.S. companies planned 90,015 layoffs last month, compared to 53,579 in March. April's layoffs were a 27 percent increase from a year earlier. Planned layoffs haven't been this high since September 2006, when 100,315 jobs were cut, according to the report.
The financial sector was hit hardest by the spate of layoffs, because of "the housing slump and about $300 billion in write-downs on bad mortgages and investments, the firm said," according to Reuters. "The financial services industry announced 23,106 cuts in April with almost half of them occurring in a two-day period that saw hefty planned layoffs from Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, it said."
The telecommunications and transportation sectors also suffered heavy job losses, with 8,007 and 7,954 planned layoffs in April, respectively.
"Employers have announced 290,671 jobs to be eliminated in the first four months of 2008, up 9 percent from the 266,658 cuts recorded during the same span in 2007, the firm said," according to Reuters.