Job cuts make for a not so happy holiday

This year may not be a very happy holiday season for the hundreds of thousands of workers who were cut from their jobs this November due to the economic slump.

Jobs and their workers took another major hit in the past month reaching the highest levels of job cuts in seven years.

According to a CNN report using the Chicago based Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. and announcements from U.S. employers, job cuts have sky rocketed to 61 percent since October and 148 percent higher than last year.

“It’s unbelievable how many people are losing their jobs,” said Nina DeGiglio, a sophomore at Westchester Community College. “Our economy is in such shambles. It has been going downhill for a number of years now, its sick that it has to come to such a point.”

The total cuts for November was the second highest on record since January 2002, which was the backlash of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Retailers were among the hardest hit this year, having cut 11,000 employees in November. One of the nation’s biggest electronic consumer chain, Circuit City, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month and cut thousands of workers, but still plans to keep operating with a smaller store base. Recently, AT&T Corp announced that they were cutting 16,000 employees.

With the holidays around the corner and so many cut backs, many Americans are in fear of losing their jobs. The holiday season typically creates over 300,000 jobs during normal economic stability, however many economists predict that it will lose over 1 million jobs between November and January.

“We usually hire at least 10 new employees over the holiday season,” said Dilia Monohan, an assistant manager at Ann Taylor. “This year we can’t even afford five new employees, which take its toll on everyone else. I’m even afraid for my job.”

According to a CBS News poll, Americans are cutting back on holiday shopping to a degree unseen in two decades. Of those surveyed, two-thirds of Americans said they will spend under $500 on holiday gifts this year.

“Gift giving is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season,” said DeGiglio. “I used to go crazy with my gifts but this year I’ve decided to only spend $20 dollars on each person.”

An ABC News poll found that over 68 percent of shoppers will wait for sales even if it means missing out on things they really want.

“Our monthly income has decreased dramatically in the past four months,” said Monohan. “ We’re seeing fewer and fewer people walk through the door.”

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