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Increase in Announced Layoffs Last Month

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According to the consultant firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. planned layoffs from U.S. companies saw an uptick of 13.5 percent for the previous month. The uptick was driven largely by announcements of layoffs in the mortgage units of big banks and the pharmaceutical sector. For example, out of the 45,730 announced layoffs in October, Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) accounted for a substantial percentage of those layoffs within the Pharmaceutical sector (8,500 planned layoffs at Merck). The planned layoffs for the financial and pharmaceutical sectors are 8,717 and 10,585, respectively. However, layoffs for the period are 1,994 lower compared to the same period last year.