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James K. Pedderson, Director of Public Relations Colleen Madden, Media Relations Manager
Office: 312-422-5078 Office: 312-422-5074
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jamespedderson@challengergray.com

** EMBARGOED COPY **
FOR RELEASE AT 7:30 A.M. EDT, MARCH 2, 2011

February Job Cuts Surge 32%


PLANNED LAYOFFS RISE TO 11-MONTH HIGH OF 50,702

CHICAGO, March 2, 2010 – The number of planned job cuts


announced by U.S.-based companies increased for the second consecutive
month in February, rising to 50,702, the highest total since March 2010,
according to the latest report on monthly job cuts released Wednesday by global
outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
The 50,702 job cuts announced last month was up 32 percent from
January’s 38,519. It was 20 percent higher than the 42,090 planned layoffs
announced in February 2010. This marks the first year-over-year increase in
monthly job cuts since May 2009 when job cuts totaling 111,182 surpassed the
103,522 layoffs announced the same month a year earlier by seven percent.
Despite the February surge, the pace of job cutting remains relatively
subdued. The two-month job-cut total of 89,211 is 21 percent lower than the
113,572 job cuts announced in January and February 2010.

-more-
EMBARGOED COPY -2-

“It is too soon to say whether the increases in January and now
February represent a trend. Certainly the specter of rising gas prices could
impact employers’ staffing decisions over the next six months. At the very
least, rising energy costs could force employers to postpone hiring plans. At
worse, increased costs could kill the fragile recovery and spur another round
of layoffs,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger,
Gray & Christmas.
The largest portion of layoffs last month came from government and
non-profit employers, which announced 16,380 job cuts, up 154 percent
from 6,450 in January and 196 percent higher than a year ago when 5,528
job cuts were announced in February. While most of the cuts occurred at the
state and local level, the United States Postal Service announced that it
reduced its headcount by 5,600 in recent months.
“More job cuts at the federal level are expected in the months ahead
as pressure mounts to cut costs and rein in the soaring national deficit. Of
course, while most would argue that the deficit must be addressed, it must be
acknowledged that sending tens of thousands of government workers to the
unemployment line and possibly furloughing thousands more will have
negative consequences for the economy in the form of reduced consumer
spending and increased outlays for jobless benefits,” said Challenger.
Retail may already be anticipating a slowdown in consumer spending.
Planned job cuts in the sector increased 44 percent in February to 8,360.
That follows a 17-percent increase in January to 5,755.
“Of course, if gasoline tops $4.00 per gallon in the coming weeks,
consumers may be forced to make significant changes to their spending
habits. At this stage of the recovery, that could be an extremely damaging
setback,” said Challenger.

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CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.


JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT
TOP FIVE INDUSTRIES
Year To Date

2011 2010
Government/Non-Profit 22,830 12,096
Retail 14,115 18,271
Aerospace/Defense 6,286 2,361
Financial 5,682 3,317
Industrial Goods 5,074 5,214

MONTH BY MONTH TOTALS

2011 2010
January 38,519 71,482
February 50,702 42,090
March 67,611
April 38,326
May 38,810
June 39,358
July 41,676
August 34,768
September 37,151
October 37,986
November 48,711
December 32,004
TOTAL 89,221 529,973

Some reductions are identified by employers as workers who will take early retirement
offers or other special considerations to leave the company.

LAYOFF LOCATION
Year to Date
Michigan 8,985
California 7,150
Illinois 6,122
District of Columbia 5,946
North Carolina 5,844
Listings are identified by the location of the layoff or corporate headquarters as stated
in announcement.

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.


EMBARGOED COPY -4-

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.


JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

JOB CUTS BY INDUSTRY

FEBRUARY
Government/Non-Profit 16,380
Retail 8,360
Industrial Goods 3,200
Aerospace/Defense 3,119
Financial 2,860
Automotive 2,187
Food 1,844
Consumer Products 1,838
Transportation 1,486
Health Care/Products 1337
Utility 1,277
Electronics 975
Services 859
Computer 800
Telecommunications 774
Insurance 670
Legal 618
Construction 524
Apparel 360
Entertainment/Leisure 355
Pharmaceutical 335
Media 294
Chemical 250
TOTAL 50,702

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.


EMBARGOED COPY -5-

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.


JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

JOB CUTS BY REGION, STATE


FEBRUARY

East 15,890
Dist. of Columbia 5,946
New Jersey 3,492
New York 2,146
Massachusetts 1,236
Maryland 862
Connecticut 689
Pennsylvania 679
Delaware 580
Maine 134
New Hampshire 120
Vermont 6

Midwest 14,560
Michigan 6,381
Minnesota 3,973
Illinois 2,044
Missouri 702
Ohio 437
Wisconsin 276
Kansas 219
Nebraska 205
Iowa 199
Indiana 124

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.


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CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.


JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

JOB CUTS BY REGION, STATE


FEBRUARY

West /Southwest 9,092


California 2,302
Texas 2,155
Colorado 1,880
Nevada 938
Alaska 500
Washington 497
Oregon 346
Arizona 180
Hawaii 130
Idaho 100
New Mexico 50
Montana 14

South 11,160
Virginia 2,513
North Carolina 2,379
Tennessee 2,242
Florida 1,621
Alabama 1,183
Arkansas 385
Kentucky 296
Louisiana 208
Georgia 200
West Virginia 133

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.


EMBARGOED COPY -7-

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.


JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

JOB CUT REASONS

FEBRUARY
Cost-Cutting 15,225
Closing 8,261
Bankruptcy 7,735
Restructuring 6,729
Voluntary Severance 4,044
Demand Downturn 2,372
Merger/Acquisition 2,255
Funding Loss 1,337
Economic Conditions 881
Outsourcing 630
Order Cancellation/Reduction 475
Legal Trouble 300
Relocation 256
Government Regulation 202
TOTAL 50,702

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.


EMBARGOED COPY -8-

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.


JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT
QUARTER-BY-QUARTER

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 TOTAL
1989 9,850 10,100 24,085 67,250 111,285
1990 107,052 87,686 49,104 72,205 316,047
1991 110,056 76,622 147,507 221,107 555,292
1992* 110,815 85,486 151,849 151,850 500,000
1993 170,615 84,263 194,486 165,822 615,186
1994 192,572 107,421 117,706 98,370 516,069
1995 97,716 114,583 89,718 137,865 439,882
1996 168,695 101,818 91,784 114,850 477,147
1997 134,257 51,309 95,930 152,854 434,350
1998 139,140 131,303 161,013 246,339 677,795
1999 210,521 173,027 173,181 118,403 675,132
2000 141,853 81,568 168,875 221,664 613,960
2001 406,806 370,556 594,326 585,188 1,956,876
2002 478,905 292,393 269,090 426,435 1,466,823
2003 355,795 274,737 241,548 364,346 1,236,426
2004 262,840 209,895 251,585 315,415 1,039,735
2005 287,134 251,140 245,378 288,402 1,072,054
2006 255,878 180,580 202,771 200,593 839,822
2007 195,986 197,513 194,095 180,670 768,264
2008 200,656 275,292 287,142 460,903 1,223,993
2009 578,510 318,165 240,233 151,122 1,288,030
2010 181,183 116,494 113,595 118,701 529,973
AVG 218,038 165,498 190,067 229,527

*Estimate based on half-year total. Challenger began tracking job-cut data in 1993.
Before that, it was tabulated by an independent newsletter no longer published.

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.


EMBARGOED COPY -9-

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.


JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

ANNOUNCED HIRING PLANS


FEBRUARY

INDUSTRY JOBS
Retail* 61,402
Computer 4,200
Telecommunication 1,535
Automotive 1,483
Consumer Products 725
Energy 695
Transportation 550
Government/Non-Profit 526
Food 450
Pharmaceutical 350
Industrial Goods 300
Entertainment/Leisure 150
Construction 80
Chemicals 75
Health Care/Products 60
TOTAL 72,581

*Home Depot announced the hiring of 60,000 seasonal workers in February.

Copyright 2011 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.