Financial Jobs Growth Flat Even as the Rate of Job Cuts Slows

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The latest Labor Department statistics show financial services jobs growth relatively flat for October, which could be seen as positive news given the recent spate of layoffs since flat implies as many jobs were created as were eliminated.

John Challenger, CEO of the Challenger Gray outsourcing firm, told eFinancialCareers that clearly the financial sector “is no longer hemorrhaging jobs” as it once was. Unfortunately, “there was little growth there,” he added.

Despite last month’s sharp increase in layoffs, job cuts for all of 2012 are still well below last year’s pace, says Challenger.

As for the future, Challenger says, "the final three months of the year tend to see heavier downsizing activity as companies make year-end adjustments to meet earnings goals and to prepare for the New Year."

Moreover, adds Challenger, "the deluge of weak third-quarter earnings reports that resulted from declining sales here and abroad does not bode well for workers as 2013 approaches.”

There has been some good news for banking professionals over the past several weeks as intended financial services job cuts have slowed somewhat, dropping from 845 planned reductions in September to 718 in October, according to Challenger.

That was in stark contrast to other businesses which saw planned job cuts by U.S.-based employers surging 41 percent in October to 47,724.

Generally speaking, “A spate of layoff announcements in the wake of weak quarterly earnings reports helped push downsizing activity to its highest level in five months,” according to Challenger.

For most employees, October was the highest job-cut month since May, when 61,887 planned layoffs were announced, says Challenger.

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