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Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said that the announcement of job cuts by US corporations were up 26 percent in January from the previous month, the highest since October.

However, January 2004 layoffs were 11 percent lower than January 2003's 132,222 and 53 percent lower than January 2002's 248,475.

The company said that January is typically a big month for job cuts as CEOs look to put their balance sheets in order at the beginning of the year; there also is the issue of outsourcing jobs abroad driving the job cuts.
KC's View:
On the issue of outsourcing jobs abroad…

Got a call yesterday from a company wanting to offer us a free cell phone. Person making the phone call said, when we asked, that he was located in New York. Heavy Indian accent made us suspicious. Since our phone number is on the national "do not call" list, we informed the telemarketer that he was in violation of federal law, and demanded to speak to his supervisor. He transferred the call, and we ended up speaking to a woman who also sported an Indian accent and who, under questioning, admitted that both she and her underling were living and working in India. So, not only were they in violation of federal law, but also the rule of ethics that suggests you shouldn't lie.

We think that people are going to get more and more annoyed by this trend. And we believe that someone needs to come up with a solution that addresses a serious and growing problem.