Survey: Companies Cut Jobs Amid War Worries

By Agence France-Presse U.S. employers, apparently freezing hiring plans because of Iraqi war worries, announced 42% more job cuts in January than the prior month, an industry survey showed Feb. 4. Employers announced 132,222 job reductions in the month, up from 92,917 in December, said a survey released by international outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc. "Even if businesses were in a position to hire, many would probably delay such action in light of the uncertainty surrounding Iraq," said the firm's chief executive, John Challenger. January's job cut total was down 46% from a year earlier, when the economy was still reeling in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the survey said. A tally of announced job cuts showed the retail sector taking the heaviest blow with 44,087 cuts. The telecommunications sector announced 7,265 cuts, its lowest figure since October 2001. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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