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Job cuts top 1 million
September 5, 2001: 2:17 p.m. ET

Announced cuts fall from July, but total for the year so far tops all of 2000
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Companies set fewer job cuts last month than in July, but the total brought the number of announced cuts above 1 million so far this year, an employment firm said Wednesday.

The number of cuts announced last month fell 32 percent to 140,019 from July, but came in more than double those of a year earlier, Challenger Gray & Christmas said in its monthly report on job cut announcements.

And with the August numbers, total job cuts announced this year climbed to 1.12 million, 83 percent higher than the total for all of last year, the Chicago-based firm said.

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"There is no evidence reported by any industry that anything that could be called a significant sustainable rebound is on the horizon for this year or even into early next year," the report said.

The telecommunications sector continued to take the brunt of the layoffs, with more 38,087 announced cuts in August. To date, the industry has accounted for 19 percent of the totals in 2001.

"Consumers are said to have more income (including the Bush tax cut), but are spending less," said John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger Gray & Christmas. "That may be the strongest indication that recovery from the current situation may be longer off than Wall Street analysts expect."

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While the job market is still suffering, a new survey suggested talented workers may be having an easier time of it. Research firm Towers Perrin said 88 percent of employers it surveyed said it was at least as difficult to keep talented workers as it was a year ago.

The Towers Perrin report also found that 73 percent of companies who were laying off workers were also hiring workers, and 54 percent of all layoffs were based on performance. Meanwhile, 56 percent of all workers are open to taking other jobs and are either aggressively looking for work or just scanning the want ads.

"Far from being able to feel secure about needed talent, employers still see a need to compete aggressively in the labor markets and find new and creative ways to recruit, retain and engage the talent they do need for success," the report said. graphic


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