Friday AM July 3rd, 2009

Job cuts announced in June fell to a 15-month low, according to outplacement consultants Challenger, Gray and Christmas. Ed Mayberry reports.
image of cut expenses

June job cuts were 33 per cent lower than those announced in May, according to John Challenger.

"Well, it was a tale of two cities, this report, because there are two surveys — one of people and one of businesses.  The survey of businesses showed a big loss in jobs, the 400-plus-thousand that we saw announced today.  And that was much higher than expected.  Companies are not creating jobs.  They're holding down their payrolls.  But we did see a better number in the survey of individuals.  Unemployment only went up to 9.5 per cent — that was less than expected.  In fact, the Labor Department called it basically unchanged."

The largest portion of job cuts came from the government and automotive sectors.  State and local governments and the non-profit sector will continue to be sources of heavy job cutting for the remainder of the year.

"No question that state and local governments are really right at the center of the storm right now to balance their budgets.  Unlike the federal government, they can't create jobs.  And so, in a service-type business, which is what they do, the only way to balance a budget when you can't raise taxes is to cut expenses, and that's meant heavy layoffs in those areas.  Non-profits are also experiencing really problems just in getting funding in this very tight environment."

Cuts in the retail sector have declined 88 per cent this year.  Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...