Downsizing Slows, Job Openings Reach New High

Layoffs in the U.S. dropped 29 percent from July to August,
staunching the heavy flow of job cuts announced over the summer.

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Employers reduced payrolls by 32,188 jobs in August, according to
global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That’s the
lowest monthly total since May (30,157) and the second lowest of the year.
There have been 391,288 layoffs announced year-to-date, 10 percent fewer than
what was recorded between January and August 2015.

On the other side of the coin, job openings rose by 228,000 in July
to a seasonally adjusted 5.9 million, marking the highest level since December
2000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The job openings data,
increased quit rate, steady hiring and drop in layoffs indicate strong
fundamentals in the U.S. labor market.

“The job market is likely to remain healthy over the coming
months as those open jobs are filled,” said Jennifer Schramm, SHRM-SCP,
manager of workforce trends at the Society for Human Resource
Management. "For HR professionals it means that they have to keep
focusing on building their employer brand and developing strong recruiting and
retention strategies so they can compete for the best talent.“

Companies Shifting Focus

The computer sector reported 6,103 job cuts in August, the most from
any sector. The bulk of those cuts came from Cisco Systems, which announced
plans to reduce its workforce by 5,500.

"Since January of last year, there has been a string of
large-scale job cuts from major players in the technology sector, including
Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Dell, Microsoft and, now, Cisco,” said John A.
Challenger, chief executive officer of the outplacement firm.

Computer companies have announced 55,567 job cuts to date in 2016,
up 111 percent from this time last year. “The surge in cuts does not
necessarily signal weakness in the sector, but it certainly signals a
shift,” Challenger said. “In most cases, we are seeing these firms
move from making hardware to providing services.”

Employers in the industrial goods (3,073), entertainment and leisure
(3,037), and energy (2,430) sectors also experienced significant job cuts in

Challenger suggested that low oil prices are a contributing factor
in the industrial goods sector, where many of the firms provide materials and
equipment to the energy industry.

Most of the entertainment and leisure job cuts from August were due
to the closure of the Trump Taj Mahal casino and resort in Atlantic City, which
affected 2,845 employees.

the energy (97,366), computer (55,567), retail (44,643), industrial goods
(25,840), and financial (17,707) sectors make up the top five industries for
number of layoffs. Texas leads the states in layoffs year-to-date (93,363),
followed by California (62,208), Arkansas (18,944), North Carolina (18,393) and
Illinois (17,137).



1. Even though employers reduced
payrolls by 32,188 jobs in August as well as 391,288 layoffs announced
year-to-date, job openings rose by 228,000 in July to a seasonally adjusted 5.9
million, marking the highest level since December 2000.

2. Due to the rising job openings,
HR professionals must focus on the recruitment process to build a strong labor
force, retain employees, and compete for top talent.

3. Some industries are experiencing more
cuts than others and potential employees should be aware of specific industries
shifts and goals.  

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