By George Anderson
Optimism in the economy may be evident in recent retail sales figures and the
performance of stocks, but the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas
is cautioning that unemployment may increase in the last four months of 2003.
According to The Chicago Sun Times, Challenger, Gray & Christmas’
research shows job cuts have occurred in larger numbers in the last four months
in every year from 1995 to 2002.
Layoff trends in 2003 have been consistent with those in previous years according
to the research.
Moderator’s Comment: Do you expect the employment picture
to improve or worsen for the balance of 2003 and the beginning months of 2004?
What will the impact be on retail?
As far back as the first President Bush, government officials
and economists have been calling on consumers to spend their money to boost
the economy when it has slowed. Some have practically positioned it as an act
of patriotism. Perhaps it is time for the business community to demonstrate
some faith in the economy and their own enterprises by hiring instead of firing.
Anderson – Moderator]