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Businesses Cutting Fewer Illinois Jobs

Posted on May 11, 2010

Employers announced plans to cut 1,413 jobs in April, which will allow many residents to hold on to Illinois jobs (click here).

This is considered a major improvement over the 10,329 that were announced in March amid sharp cuts from school systems.

Illinois unemployment increased sharply in March.

The number was also down more than threefold from a year earlier, when 4,915 cuts were announced, according to the latest report from Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Nationally, employers announced plans to slash a near four-year low 38,326 jobs. The number was down 43 percent from the 67,611 in March and 71 percent less than the 132,590 announced in April 2009.

The biggest cuts nationally last month were in the government/non-profit sector, which announced plans to shed 14,973 jobs.

Nationally, the picture is also much brighter. At the current pace of an average of 54,877 job cuts per month, annual job cuts could end the year below 700,000 for the first time since 2000.

Hiring is also likely to to increase in the coming months, but many companies are stubbornly slow to add employees, CEO John A. Challenger said in a statement.

Employers “will first do what they can to maximize the productivity of existing employees through measures such as upgrading technology and expanding the hours of part-time workers,” Challenger said.

Public sector and non-profit employment also continues to struggle, according to the survey.

“State and local governments are under immense budgetary pressure resulting from a lethal combination of higher costs and shrinking tax revenue,” Challenger said.

Economists are forecasting an increase in nonfarm payrolls of about 185,000 when the Labor Department reports the April unemployment numbers Friday, higher than the 162,000 added in March.

If the estimate proves correct, it would reflect the biggest gain in three years.

But much of the increase in April is likely to come from temporary hiring for the US decennial census. Excluding the projected 105,000 Census workers hired in April, payrolls will have risen by 80,000.

Unemployment is expected to remain at an elevated 9.7 percent.

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