Hatchet-Happy Companies Hit 16-Month High For Layoffs

If you received a pink slip, a cardboard box and a security escort last month, you had plenty of company. Businesses laid off 66,414 employees in July, dampening the buzz from the 114,000 jobs that were created.

The L.A. Times cites figures from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which say the job cuts were up 60 percent from June, as well as July 2010. Pharmaceuticals, construction, manufacturing and retail sectors were particularly active with the bloodletting. The Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO quipped “A casual observer certainly might conclude that the wheels just fell off the recovery wagon.”

The bright spots are coming from small businesses, which have been increasing hiring rates for almost two years, and the service sector, which includes healthcare and education.

Job growth slows and layoffs rise to 16-month high, reports say [L.A. Times]