Job cuts announced by U.S. employers declined in May, indicating the labor market is improving.
Planned firings dropped 65 percent to 38,810 from 111,182 in May 2009, according to figures released today by Chicago- based Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
Companies are retaining workers and starting to hire as they boost production and spending to meet improved demand in the U.S. and abroad. An improving labor market will help the economy withstand challenges posed by the European debt crisis and growing U.S. state and local budget deficits.
“Announced job cuts have, for all intents and purposes, returned to pre-recession levels,” John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement. “What makes the low job-cut totals we have seen this spring particularly remarkable is that we still have not reached what is the slowest downsizing period of the year, which typically occurs during the summer months.”
From the AP:
Jobless rates fell in more than 90 percent of the nation's largest metro areas in April, the government said Wednesday. That was better than March, when rates fell in about 69 percent of metro areas.