2010 Pharma job cuts cross the 50K mark

With 4,905 job cuts announced in November, the pharmaceutical industry surpassed 50,000 layoffs through the end of November, according to Challenger, Gray and Christmas. That's about 11,000 less than the same time last year, but up significantly from October, when just 1,929 positions were eliminated. The pharmaceutical industry remains the second-highest area of job cuts behind government; that sector has cut almost three times as many positions.

Pharma Layoffs by Month, 2010

Month Layoffs
January 8,170
February 17,687
March 308
April 1,049
May 6,943
June 830
July 2,023
August 255
September 6,069
October 1,929
November 4,905


Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Overall, the pace of downsizing surged to its highest level in eight months, as employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 48,711 jobs in November. CEO John Challenger noted that the higher layoff trend is likely to continue into December as many companies announce cutbacks at the end of the year.

Top Five Industries, Year to Date

Industry 2010 2009
Government/Non-Profit   138,979


Pharmaceutical 50,168


Retail 33,814


Healthcare/Products 26,612


Telecommunications 24,504


Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas

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