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Planned Layoffs Surge to 16-Month High

This is grim news for a consumer-driven economy……

The early days of the recession were characterized by massive layoffs across industries, and while economists caution that the labor market isn’t there yet, a surge of private sector layoffs in July may indicate that the American recovery is stalling out.

This week has been a worrisome one for economists who monitor the health of the U.S. economy, with mounting signs all pointing in the same direction: For the average American worker, a rebound will not be soon forthcoming. In fact, things seem to be moving in the other direction.

GDP growth is weak; new hiring is not keeping pace with populations growth, according to fresh data; and growth in manufacturing — which once lead the recovery — has practically ground to a halt. But most worrisome of all the signs, perhaps, is the return of mass layoffs.

For the past three months, American companies have been cutting their workforce in increasing numbers, according to a new report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement consultancy group in Chicago. In July, the number of planned job cuts surged to a 16-month high of 66,414 — a 60 percent increase from June.

http://www.huffingto…y_n_916934.html

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