Challenger, Gray Sees More Downsizing in Financial Services After November Cuts

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Financial services businesses continue to be at risk for heavy downsizing activity-although job cuts are still well below the "recession high" of 2008, says global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Financial firms announced 1,681 job cuts in November, bringing the year-to-date total for the sector to 56,191, Challenger, Gray announced in a press release. That's up 162 percent from 21,430 financial cuts by this point a year ago, says the firm, going on to observe that job cuts in the financial sector are still well below the recession high of 260,110-2008's year-end total.

However, even as other sectors begin to enjoy the fruits of the recovery, these firms remain on very thin ice, according to the announcement.

"The ongoing threat from the European financial looms large over Wall Street, while retail banks continue to struggle in the wake of the housing market collapse," Challenger said.

Financial services was ranked as the second-largest job cutting sector this year, followed by retail, which has announced 48,338 announced layoffs to date. November job cuts were once again dominated by government sector job-cut announcements, which totaled 18,508 or 44 percent of all job cuts during the month.

Monthly job cuts were once again dominated by government sector job-cut announcements, which totaled 18,508 or 44 percent of all job cuts during the month of November.

For businesses overall, the number of planned layoffs announced in November remained virtually unchanged from the previous month. U.S.-based employers reported job cuts totaling 42,474 last month, down 0.7 percent from 42,759 in October.

November job cuts across all business sectors were down 13 percent from the same month a year ago when employers announced plans to cut 48,711 jobs from their payrolls.

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