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Planned job cuts by Illinois companies spike in November

Updated: January 8, 2013 6:19AM



Planned job cut announcements by Illinois-based employers spiked nearly four-fold in November from October and jumped more than three-fold from November 2011, a report released Thursday from Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas showed.

Employers announced 4,645 planned job cuts last month, up from 1,191 in October and up from 1,440 in November 2011.

Among the cuts announced last month were 980 by U.S. Cellular, 900 by Career Education Corp., 656 by food company Fresh Express Inc. and 400 by Peabody Energy.

Through November, job cut announcements by Illinois employers are 21 percent ahead of the same period last year, running counter to what has happened nationally, where the number has fallen 13 percent to 490,806.

But in November, job cut announcements by U.S. employers increased for the third straight month. They rose 20 percent from October to 47,724 amid cuts by bankrupt Hostess Brands, which largely contributed to the number. Job cut announcements jumped 34 percent from November 2011, the Challenger, Gray & Christmas report revealed.

“Job cuts this year have really been driven by a handful of large-scale cuts,” Rick Cobb, executive vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement. “This month, the Hostess cuts dominated the monthly total. Last month, nearly a quarter of the 47,724 job cuts came from Ford. In May, it was the singe job cut by HP (Hewlett-Packard Co.) that drove the monthly job cut total to 61,887.

Cobb doesn’t expect relief from large-scale layoffs this month, noting, “the end of the year tends to see heavy downsizing activity as companies make last-minute attempts to meet earnings goals or adjust payrolls based on the budget for the coming year.”

He pointed to Citigroup, which this week announced it will slash 11,000 jobs.



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