So far, 2011 is shaping up as one of the slowest years for downsizing activity in over a decade, according to a report released July 6 by global outplacement consultancy firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc.
But the good news was tempered a bit after the number of planned layoffs rose in June, the second-consecutive monthly increase.
Employers said they planned to cut 4,297, or 11.6 %, more jobs in June than the previous month, the firm reports. Layoffs in May were up 2% after falling to a four-month low in April.
The aerospace and defense industry contributed to the largest number of job cuts. The sector has experienced a 241% rise in job cuts in 2011to 20,851 layoffs.
Even so, the rise in layoffs did not have a major impact on the slowing pace of downsizing, says John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
"The employment picture remains a bit cloudy," he says. "Continued slowness in the pace of job cuts is certainly promising. However, hiring is coming in spurts and is not quite robust enough to make a significant dent in unemployment."
A clearer picture of where the year is headed will materialize in the next three or four months of employment and hiring data, Challenger says.