Slivers of good news in the jobs report

Job creation continues to be sluggish — the Labor Department reported today that the nation’s payrolls fell in June for the first time in six months and 652,000 jobless workers have given up looking for work.

But there are slivers of good news if you look hard enough.

Also in June, employers announced plans to cut 39,358 jobs, marking the the third straight month that planned job cuts were less than 40,000 and 47 percent less than the job cuts in June last year, according to a report released this week by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

This is good news? Yes.

So far in 2010, 297,677 jobs have been cut, down 67 percent from “896,675 layoffs in the first half of 2009 and the lowest six-month total since 2000, when the mid-year total was 223,421,” Challenger, Gray reported.

Putting job cuts in the “good news” category does seem a bit weird, but it shows that the pace of layoffs has slowed significantly and employers may not be as worried about the recovery as some talking heads on cable TV would have you believe.

“While some may question the sustainability of this recovery, the dramatic decline in planned layoffs over the past six months certainly suggests that the nation’s employers are not anticipating a double-dip recession. With the exception of organizations in the government and non-profit sector, employers are looking six months ahead and apparently do not see a reason to make additional reductions in payrolls,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Even on Fox Business News, First Trust Advisors Chief Economist Brian Wesbury offers a relatively positive take on today’s government numbers,

Watch the interview here.

It’s important to also remember that jobs are being created in some sectors of the economy, albeit slowly.

“Those who have jobs can feel more secure and those who are looking may start to see some success. We already have seen some job creation this year, with payrolls growing by 982,000 jobs between January and May, according to government data. However, it is important to remember that job creation in the nascent stages of the recovery can fluctuate heavily from month to month,” Challenger added.

Click here to read the complete Challenger, Gray report.