Chicago: US employers announced a record 2.4 lakh job cuts in January, the highest in seven years, with the retail sector taking the hardest hit of the economic recession and shedding the maximum jobs, a report said.
Job cut announcements by US employers soared to 241,749 in January, up 45% from 166,348 cuts announced in December, city-based placement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc said in its monthly report on US job cuts.
The “planned layoffs” in January is the highest since January 2002. The layoffs rose more than three-fold from January 2008, when 74,986 job cuts were announced.
A sharp cut in consumer spending, even during the holiday season, dented sales at retail outlets. At 53,968, job cuts announced in the retail sector during the month were the highest across a wide range of industries.
The industrial goods industry cut 32,083 jobs last month. This was followed by the computer sector (22,330), pharmaceutical (22,063) and aerospace industry (17,800).
“The variety of industries represented among the top five job-cutting sectors in January is further evidence of how far the impact of this recession has spread. Industries that at first appeared to be immune to downturns, such as computer and pharmaceutical, are now rapidly shedding workers,” Challenger, Gray & Christmas chief executive officer John Challenger said.