There’s some good news this morning about the labor market.
The number of layoffs announced by U.S. companies plunged in December, a new report signals. Also, the number of layoffs announced in 2012 was the lowest for any year since 1997.
That news from the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas is the first of three jobs-related reports due this morning. In the next hour, we’re due to get the ADP National Employment Report about hiring at private companies last month and the Employment and Training Administration‘s latest figures on first-time claims for unemployment benefits. We’ll update with highlights from those reports.
According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas:
— “After three consecutive months of increased layoff activity, the number of planned job cuts announced in December plunged to 32,556, the second lowest monthly total of 2012” and down from 57,081 in November.
— “Due in large part to the slow pace of downsizing in the third quarter, annual job cuts totaled 523,362, which is the lowest year-end total since 1997, when employers announced 434,350 job cuts during the year. The 2012 total was 14 percent lower than the 606,082 job cuts announced in 2011.”
— ” ‘We have not seen this [lower] level of job cutting since before the dot.com collapse and subsequent 2001 recession,’ said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.”
Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is due to report on the December unemployment rate and job growth that month.