Pharma cuts 6,000+ jobs in Sept.

After enjoying several months of low layoff numbers, the pharma industry reported cutting 6,069 jobs in September. That's the highest number of layoffs since May, according to outplacement consultancy firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, and brings the industry's total 2010 layoffs to a whopping 43,334. Pharma came in second only to the government and the non-profit sector (11,091 cuts) in September. Across all industries, the pace of downsizing remained virtually unchanged in September as employers announced plans to cut 37,151 jobs during the month; a seven percent increase from the 34,768 job cuts reported in August.

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
TOTAL 43,334

Encouragingly, the September 2010 job cut total total was 44 percent lower than the 66,404 job cuts announced in September 2009. And the firm anticipates that companies will be annoucing hiring plans in the coming months. "Employers appear poised to hire," notes CEO John Challenger in a statement. "Some people have expressed concern that hiring may never take off due to the fact that companies have learned to be leaner and meaner and will simply operate with smaller workforces from now on. However, increased sales will eventually compel companies to hire or risk being unable to meet rising demand. We just are not there, yet," says Challenger.

Top Five Industries, Year to Date

Industry 2010 2009



Pharmaceutical 43,334


Retail 31,246


Computer 22,609


Telecommunications 22,609


Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas

- here's the release from Challenger