Challenger survey: Job cuts jump in April

CHICAGO (AP) — Global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas says planned layoffs surged in April.

The firm's monthly survey of businesses found that employers announced more than 40,000 job cuts, 17 percent more than in March. And it's up six percent from April a year ago.

John Challenger, CEO of the outplacement company, blames an increase in mergers and acquisitions. He notes that "companies don't need two corporate headquarters" when they combine resources. But he says the resulting layoffs are "the good kind," which are seen "when the economy is in better shape" and companies are in a position to move ahead with restructuring and expanding. But Challenger also notes that "doesn't mean for the people who lose their jobs after an acquisition that it's any easier."

The retail sector was the layoffs leader last month, with nearly 7,000. Challenger calls that "surprising." He says the cuts normally come in January and February after the holiday shopping season.

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158-w-37-(David Melendy, AP correspondent, with John Challenger, CEO, Challenger, Gray and Christmas)--Global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas says planned layoffs surged in April. AP correspondent David Melendy reports. (1 May 2014)

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160-a-14-(John Challenger, CEO, Challenger, Gray and Christmas, in AP interview)-"it's any easier"-John Challenger of Challenger, Gray and Christmas says the increase in layoffs in April is a good sign for the economy, but it still takes a toll on the employees. (1 May 2014)

<<CUT *160 (05/01/14)££ 00:14 "it's any easier"

159-a-10-(John Challenger, CEO, Challenger, Gray and Christmas, in AP interview)-"cuts were announced"-John Challenger of Challenger, Gray and Christmas says layoffs took a leap in April. (1 May 2014)

<<CUT *159 (05/01/14)££ 00:10 "cuts were announced"

161-a-16-(John Challenger, CEO, Challenger, Gray and Christmas, in AP interview)-"of job cuts"-John Challenger of Challenger, Gray and Christmas says the retail sector took the biggest hit from layoffs in April. (1 May 2014)

<<CUT *161 (05/01/14)££ 00:16 "of job cuts"

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