Pharma layoffs drop to 1,929 in October

After spiking to 6,069 job cuts in Septmeber layoffs in the pharmaceutical industry dropped to 1,900 in October, according to consultancy Challenger, Gray and Christmas. The industry ranks 7th in total job cuts this month; for most of the year, it's been one of the top five job-cutting industries. But with 45,263 cuts reported so far in 2010, pharma remains the second-highest job-cutting sector. Overall, the pace of job cutting is down 62 percent from a year ago, with employers announcing 449,258 job cuts year to date, compared to 1,192,587 over the same period in 2009.

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


Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas

"Job cuts are the lowest they have been in a decade, due in part to a slowly improving economy; if not the fact that many employers have basically cut their workforces to the bare minimum," Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John Challenger. "Unfortunately, the lack of spending by consumers and businesses is stunting demand for new workers.  The modest gains in business activity are currently being met by increasing hours of existing workers."

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 Challenger release for more