"Through May of this year, there have been about 8,800 announced merger-related job cuts, which translates to an annual pace of about 21,000, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an outplacement-services and executive-coaching company. That is less than in the last takeover boom. In 2006, for example, there were nearly 77,000 such cuts, according to the company’s data.
"'The question is, have people found ways to game the system?' said John Challenger, CEO of placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas. 'Are they going on disability, are they in the underground economy, are they more willing to not be dual-income-earning couples?'"