Planned job cuts by Illinois employers rise in April
BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org May 3, 2012 11:02AM
Updated: June 5, 2012 11:34AM
Job cut announcements by Illinois-based employers fell 11.6 percent in April from March, but more than tripled from April 2011, according to the latest report from Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Illinois employers announced plans to ax 1,585 jobs last month, down from 1,794 in March, but up from 505 in April 2011.
Among employers that disclosed job cuts last month were financial call center Afni in Bloomington, which announced plans to close and cut 300 jobs; the school districts of Peoria and Indian Prairie, with cuts of 258 and 160 respectively; and PNC Financial Services Group in Westchester, with 150.
Through the first four months of the year, the pace of job cutting is up. Employers announced plans to slash 12,414 jobs through April, up 42.6 percent from 8,707 a year earlier.
Nationally, employers announced plans to cut 40,559 jobs last month, up 7.1 percent from March and up 11.2 percent from April 2011. So far this year, employers have announced 183,653 job cuts, up 9.8 percent from a year earlier.
But the monthly average of 45,913 for the first four months of the year is below the 12-month average of 50,507 in 2011, the firm said.
Sectors that announced the biggest cuts nationally last month were education with 9,027, government with 3,100, health care products with 2,944 and automotive with 2,567.
“There have been some concerns that the economy may be headed for a repeat of last year’s spring and summer slowdown,” John Challenger, chief executive officer of the firm, said in a statement. “While job gains may indeed hit a lull in the coming months, we do not foresee a sudden upsurge in downsizing activity. ... Monthly totals remain well below levels that would signal a reversal in the recovery.”