Although jobs cuts in December fell 10 percent to 45,094, 2009 was still the heaviest year of downsizing since 2002.
The fifth consecutive month of declines in layoffs, December’s job cuts were also the fewest since December 2007, when there were 44,416 layoffs.
John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement firm, described 2009 as a “bi-polar year,” in terms of downsizing.
The nation’s economy was still beleaguered during the first half of the year from bank failures, the housing market collapse and the deterioration of manufacturing, so downsizing was heavy-896,675 job cuts were announced between January and June.
But during the last half of the year, job cuts dropped by 56 percent of 391,355.
Challenger said that in 2010, there are “promising signs” of continued improvement.
And industries that suffered most during the recession have decreased layoffs.
Job cuts in the automotive industry declined 54 percent from the first half of 2009 to the last half; industrial goods job cuts declined 62 percent; government/nonprofit cuts declined 33 percent; and retail job cuts declined 85 percent during the same time period.