After falling to a five-month low in May, job cuts rose in July for a second straight month.
According to outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, employers announced plans to trim their payrolls by 45,346 workers last month a jump of 19% from June. Terminations in June soared 28%, when they totaled to 30,157.
Even with the July increase, job cuts were 57 percent lower than same period a year ago, when they were at a four-year high of 105,696.
So far this year, employers have announced 359,100 job cuts, down 8.7% from the January-July 2015 time frame.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John A. Challenger points out that while there was a rise in July job cuts, the total was still lower the July average recorded since the end of the recession. “We did see a resurgence in energy-sector job cuts,” he noted, adding that, “this was somewhat unexpected in light of recent projections of increased oil prices and possible labor shortages in the industry."
Energy sector doldrums
Job cuts in the energy sector totaled 17,725 in July, a whopping 796% increase from June and the largest job-cut tally for the industry since April, when firms announced 18,759 firings. So far this year, energy firms have announced 94,936 job cuts – up 37% from this point in 2015.
Of the energy sector cuts announced this year, 83,412 have been blamed on oil prices. In all, low oil prices have claimed 195,415 jobs since mid-2014 -- mostly in the energy and industrial goods sectors.
“Even as some oil-industry firms continued to reduce their headcounts in July,” Challenger said; “a report appearing in industry publication OilPrice.com noted that the number of oil rigs rebounded in May and predicted that firms will have a difficult time ramping up operations if and when oil and gas prices go up.”
After the energy sector, the computer industry has seen the next highest number of job cut announcements this year -- 49,464 job cuts, including 9,875 in July. The year-to-date total is up 94% from the seven-month total in 2015.
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