Energy, Economy

Economic Data Roundup (08/04/2016)

8/4/16 12:00 PM

iStock_000009946822_Small.jpgThe only economic data worth mentioning this morning is a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which showed that the total number of announced corporate layoffs in America lifted by 19 percent in July to 45,346. That is the second month-over-month increase in a row following the 2016-to-date low of 30,157 hit in May. Compared to July of 2015, though, the number of job cuts announced last month are actually down 57 percent, and total corporate layoffs during the first seven months of 2016 are tracking 8.7 percent below the 2015 pace. Despite the improvements, one area of the economy that is definitely not helping reduce the number of job cuts announced this year is energy. Indeed, this sector has announced 94,936 layoffs 2016-to-date, a 37 percent increase compared to this same period last year. According to the report’s authors, almost all (83,412) of those job cuts can be blamed on oil, therefore bringing the total up to 195,415 attributable layoffs since mid-2014. However, John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said that “Even as some oil-industry firms continued to reduce their headcounts in July, a report appearing in industry publication OilPrice.com noted that the number of oil rigs rebounded in May and predicted that firms will have a difficult time ramping up operations if and when oil and gas prices go up.” That is basically a hint at potential labor shortages in the industry, and Challenger added that “a large portion of the workforce is reaching retirement age,” and that “a report released earlier this year by the American Petroleum Institute indicated that petrochemical companies will need to hire about 30,000 new workers each year over the next two decades to replace retiring employees.”

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Sources: Econoday, Bloomberg, Twitter, ZH, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, FRBSL

Post author: Charles Couch