NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The debt ceiling crisis may be over for now, but the jobs crisis only appears to be getting worse.
Private sector companies announced 66,414 job cuts in July, a 60% increase from June and the greatest number of layoffs in 16 months, according to a new report by the research firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Most of these layoffs came from a half dozen big companies, the report shows, including Lockheed Martin, Cisco Systems and Borders, the latter of which recently began the liquidation process. This news comes on the heels of other worrying reports on waning small business confidence and a general increase in the unemployment rate, all of which suggest the job market may not be out of the woods just yet.
It’s impossible to know for sure what the job market will look like in the coming months, but as John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, tells MainStreet, there are plenty of signs employees can and should pay attention to at their own companies to get a better sense of whether layoffs are on the horizon.
The worse your company’s performance, the greater the likelihood for layoffs. Perhaps more than anything else, this is the rule one can use to gauge job security at a particular business.
“If the company is consistently underperforming or their competitive position is being eroded, there may be job cuts coming up,” Challenger said.
There are several ways employees can keep track of this. For starters, it’s always a good idea to pay attention to your company’s earnings reports, with a focus on any significant changes to its stock price, which can provide a clue to the overall performance and direction of the company. Employees might also consider following industry news publications to see what others are writing about the company in relation to competitors.