Pharma layoffs plummet to 255 in August

After seeing pharma job cut numbers dwell in the thousands for several month, consulting firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas report that pharma layoffs plunged to just 255 in August. That's the lowest total of any month this year, replacing March as the month with the fewest job cuts. The total number of positions eliminated climbed to 37,265.

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
August 255
TOTAL 37,265

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas

August job cuts were down 17 percent from the 41,676 cuts announced in July, according to the report. Last month not only replaces April as the lowest job-cut month of the year, it represents the lowest job-cut month since June 2000, when employers announced only 17,241 planned layoffs.

August was the first month Pharma made Challenger's list of industry that revealed hiring plans, but don't get too excited yet: pharma companies announced plans to hire just eight employees. The industry still ranks second overall for the most jobs cut in 2010.

Top Five Industries, Year to Date

Industry 2010 2009
Government/Non-Profit  

112,378 

109,433

Pharmaceutical 37,265

52,683 

Retail

30,805

88,352 

Computer

20,102

61,578 

Telecommunications

18,903

53,145 

- here's the Challenger release

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