Jeremy Hobson: Did job creation pick up in June? Did the unemployment rate fall? Those are two things we’ll find out tomorrow when the Labor Department releases the June employment report. This morning we learned that the number of planned job cuts at U.S. companies dropped last month to the lowest level in 13 months.
That’s according to the job placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas, and CEO John Challenger is with us live to discuss. Good morning.
John Challenger: Good morning, Jeremy.
Hobson: Well, John, that seems like good news with planned layoffs at a 13 month low, is it?
Challenger: I think it is good news. We’ve seen now for the third consecutive year a slowdown in the economy, with more job cuts over the Spring and early Summer, but each time it’s bounced back. Let’s hope that this is a sign that employers are now moving towards holding on to their employees more rather than letting them go.
Hobson: Well let me know one thing here, I looked down into your report. It says that the number of planned job cuts for the first half of this year, which is around 300,000 or so, is still far fewer than the number we saw back in the years before the recession. It seems like with a struggling economy you would have more layoffs wouldn’t you?
Challenger: Well we are not seeing the kinds of mergers and acquisitions that were leading to major cuts that we saw then. We’ve moved into a period where the economy is kind of in this slow growth mode. Employers are just sitting on their employees, standing pat, and we’re not seeing much change and dynamism as we saw in the economy then.
Hobson: Well what do you expect the Labor Department will tell us about job growth last month tomorrow?
Challenger: We don’t see anything major happening in terms of job creation which is the key to driving unemployment down. It seems likely we’ll stay at this low 8 percent, around 8.2 percent, level of unemployment.
Hobson: John Challenger, CEO of Challenger Gray & Christmas, thanks as always.
Challenger: Thank you.
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