Job cuts pass 1 million mark

There have been 1,123,356 job cuts in the U.S. so far this year, an increase of 83 percent over the 613,960 cuts announced in all of 2000, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

In fact, the total number of job cuts so far this year is just 165,736 less than the cuts announced in 2000 and 1999 combined, Challenger said in a statement.

In August, 140,019 job cuts were announced, with the telecommunications industry being particularly hard hit, according to the Chicago-based company that tracks job-cut figures daily. During the past three months, that total reached 470,000.

While the August job-loss figure was one-third lower than the 205,975 cuts announced in July, it was still 145 percent higher than the 57,221 cuts recorded in August 2000.

"Job seekers are likely to find they are competing not only against more candidates but against the likelihood of a lot more outsourcing of jobs," said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger.

Other figures compiled by Challenger show that there were more telecommunications sector job cuts in August last month, 38,087, than in all of 2000, when 33,845 telecom jobs were cut. So far, 19 percent of the total job cuts this year were in the telecommunications industry. Job losses in the telecommunications, computer and electronics industries have increased 1,223 percent over such losses in 2000.

Dot-com job cuts, however, fell in August to the lowest level in a year.

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