Financial sector cuts finally stabilize

Planned layoffs down by 44% from 2013

Although the financial sector ranks second in industry cuts, layoffs in banking are finally starting to stabilize.

According to the April report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the financial sector announced 4,124 job cuts for the month, bringinfg the total for 2014 to 19,430.

However, this is actually down 44% from 2013.

“We are seeing some stabilization in the banking industry. We may continue to see cutbacks in the mortgage departments, as banks shed the extra workers hired to handle the flood of foreclosures, but those areas are getting back to normal staffing levels,” said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

As a whole, the report announced employers’ plans to shed 40,298 workers from their payrolls in April.

This is up from 34,399 in March and 6% higher than the 38,121 job cuts recorded in the same month a year ago.

So far in 2014, there have been 161,639 cuts, 12% fewer than the 183,162 planned layoffs in the first four months of 2013.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor unemployment report posted that jobless claims edged up by 14,000 filings to 344,0000.

Last week’s numbers were revised by 1,000 filings, falling to 329,000 from 330,000.

In addition, the 4-week moving average reached 320,000, a jump of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was also revised up by 250 claims and increased from 316,750 to 317,000.

“Extreme volatility is sweeping initial jobless claims which have ranged from a low of 301,000 at the beginning of the month to, unfortunately, a high of 344,000 in the April 26 week,” analysts with Econoday said.  

However, the analysts noted that there are no special factors behind the climb which points to month-end deterioration in the labor market. 

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