Economic impact: Job-loss edition

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The outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas just sent around some numbers that put the thousands of jobs being lost at Lehman into context.

Annual Financial Sector Job Cuts in the US

1997— 37,159
1998— 62,366
1999— 60,834
2000— 55,272
2001— 116,647
2002— 89,210
2003— 51,784
2004— 97,945
2005— 50,503
2006— 50,327
2007— 153,105
2008— 102,957 (through August)

Through August, we were still trailing 2007’s total for jobs lost in the financial sector. (Last year was a real spike because of mass layoffs at Countrywide and other mortgage firms.) Of course, the 2008 numbers don’t yet take into account the fact that the bulk of Lehman’s 25,000-person workforce is now out of a job. Nor does it take into account any job-cut “cost savings” at the new Bank of America-Merrill combo.

Probably a good chance yet we’ll break last year’s high.