The computer industry lost 3,473 jobs in June, while telecommunications lost 5,528. The two sectors combined lost 54,278 jobs between January and May this year. That is 67 percent fewer cuts than the 165,391 logged in the same five-month period last year, reports Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based outplacement firm that tracks job cuts and hiring trends.
Overall, layoffs declined for the second month in a row, with 59,715 jobs being lost in June. That's the lowest figure since 44,152 jobs were cut in November, 2000 -- 31 months ago.
June's job losses were 13 percent lower than the 68,623 announced in May, which was itself 53 percent lower than the 146,399 jobs lost in April, reports the outplacement firm. June also saw 37 percent fewer job losses than the same month last year.
''The decline in job cuts is, of course, good news for workers who might begin to sleep a little easier at night,'' says John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. ''However, it does not necessarily mean an immediate rebound for the millions of people who remain jobless.''
The slowdown in job losses may not be all good news, according to Challenger.
''The slowdown in job cuts may actually bring a slowdown in hiring,'' says Challenger. ''The fall in job cuts may mean that employers are simply staying with the workers they have, resulting in a stagnant job market.''
Since the beginning of the year, there have been 630,532 announced job cuts. That number is 14 percent below the mid-year total (735,527) recorded in 2002.