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Financial sector escapes bad jobs report

Stops leading job cuts

emergency escape
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It’s not what the Challenger, Gray & Christmas revealed in its report Thursday as much as what the report failed to fully include — financial cuts.

If you took a quick glance over most of the past year’s Challenger reports it wouldn’t take more than a few paragraphs to read about how the financial sector was bleeding jobs and slashing positions across the board.

For example, John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said about the March 2014 job cuts report, “While some of the cuts in the financial sector were related to cutbacks in mortgage lending operations, a large portion of the banking workforce reductions in February were due to the ongoing shift away from branch banking toward increased mobile banking.”

In just the October 2013 report, the financial sector witnessed the second biggest job cuts, with 8,717 layoffs announced and prompting quotes like the following.

"The banking sector is cutting workforce levels as a direct result of an improving economy. Many banks, including Bank of America, which announced 4,200 job cuts in October, are slashing positions in their mortgage department as the number of troubled mortgages and foreclosures dwindles," said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in a statement. "Furthermore, improvements in the economy are also pushing interest rates back up, which is curbing demand for refinancing."

Then compare that to June’s report, where there is no mention of financial cuts besides the basic information of how many layoffs occurred.  

Last year, the financial industry led the job-cut announcement report of the top five industries, with 36,762 from January to June. This was followed by the retail and health care/products industries, which posted 32,900 and 22,951 layoffs, respectively.

This year the financial industry reported only 21,478 job cuts, ranking second to last in the top five industries. Instead, the computer and retail industries led the market, with 30,002 and 26,863 cuts, respectively.

Meanwhile, the June report said job cuts dropped 41% to 31,434, the lowest one-month total so far this year. Through the first half of 2014, the pace of job cutting is down 5% from a year ago.

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