June job cuts the lowest in 15 months

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National job cuts during June were the lowest in 15 months.

At 74,393, the announcements dropped below 100,000 for the first time since September, and were 33 percent lower than the 111,182 layoffs announced during May.

These layoffs were the fewest since March 2008, when 53,579 were announced.

Historically, job cuts decline in the second quarter, said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

However, the total job cuts from January to June 2009 – 896,675 – were the highest since 1989, when Challenger began tracking the cuts.

By comparison, the first half of the year totals for 2005 and 2001 were 538,274, and 777,362, respectively.
Nonetheless, these figures indicate that “the worst of the economic crisis” might have passed, Challenger said.

And the financial sector only had 40,911 layoffs during the first half of this year – down 52 percent from the 85,258 job cuts during the same period last year.