First NBF Economy’s ISM-derived model suggests April job losses around 550k (U.S. ISM Reports Suggest Better April Job Stats). Then ADP said private-sector employment decreased by 491k. Finally,
outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. reported that the number of layoffs announced in April fell for the third straight month.
Job cut announcements by U.S. employers totaled 132,590 in April, an improvement of 12% from March’s 150,411 cuts. It was the lowest total since last October, according to Challenger, but the April figure was still 47% higher than job cuts announced in the same month a year ago.
The government/non-profit sector was hit the hardest for the second month in a row, Challenger said, with 27,624 announced job cuts in April. The automotive industry had the second highest tally of planned cuts, thanks in part to further cuts announced at General Motors.
ADP’s numbers exclude governments. Since the government sector was hit the hardest in Challenger’s numbers, the NBF number of 550k may be closer to the mark next Friday.
"Job cuts are still at recession levels, but the fact that they are falling is certainly promising and may suggest that employers are starting to feel a little more confident about future business conditions. Hopefully, the next few months will bring further relief, as we tend to see downsizing activity slow during the summer months," John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement.
Employers have announced 711,100 job cuts so far this year. That is 145% percent higher than the 290,671 job cuts announced in the first quarter of 2008, Challenger said.