Pharma cuts 2,023 jobs in July

Pharma layoffs climbed to 2,023 after dropping to just 830 in June, according to outplacement consultancy firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. Overall, the industry has axed 37,010 jobs in 2010. That's a lot, but it's still 30 percent less than the 51,549 positions eliminated through the end of July 2009.

Pharma Layoffs by Month, 2010

Month Layoffs January 8,170 February 25,875 March 308 April 1,049 May 6,943 June 830 July 2,023 TOTAL 37,010

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Though job cuts have grown slightly each month since hitting a low in April, CEO John Challenger doesn't think the increase is a sign that the economy is worsening. "The increases are so slight and the monthly totals so low when compared to recent years, that the trend in no way suggests a reversal of the significant slowdown in job-cut activity witnessed over the past year," he says in a release. However, "...seasonal trends indicate that monthly job cuts tend to get heavier late in the third quarter through the end of the year, as employers make last-minute adjustments to their payrolls to meet annual earnings goals." So don't be surprised if there's an uptick in pharma layoffs in the coming months. In July the industry announced plans to hire only 100 new workers.

Top Five Industries, Year to Date

Industry 2010 2009 Government/Non-Profit  



Pharmaceutical 37,010


Retail 26,993


Computer 19,098


Telecommunications 17,596


Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas

- see the layoffs release
- get the full report (.pdf)