Planned Layoffs Surge in August

According to a new report released Thursday, the number of layoffs announced by employers surged in August to the highest level in more than six months. Firms announced plans to layoff 50k workers, up 57% from last year. The announced job cuts were also 33% higher than July. 

Hardest hit was the industrial goods sector, shedding more than 22k jobs. "Heavy job cuts in the industrial goods sector are never a good thing, as they can be indicative of widening cracks in the economy's foundation," said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the firm who published Thursday's report. 

The markets are eagerly anticipating the August jobs report released by the Labor Department on Friday. Economists expect the report to show that the economy gained 180k jobs last month. While this number would be below the level needed to keep pace with population growth, the more interesting data will be the number of new jobs that are part-time. This year, three out of four new jobs created were part-time. 

At the end of the month, the ObamaCare health exchanges, where individuals can buy health insurance, are set to open. It will mark the beginning of the full implementation of the new health care mandate. The law, designed to transform the health care sector, seems, instead, to be fundamentally transforming the labor market. 



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