Employers announced plans to shed 32,239 workers from their payrolls in August. It was the fewest number of monthly job cuts by US-based firms since December 2010, when layoffs totaled 32,004, according to the latest job cuts report released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
August job cuts were down 12.5 percent from a July total of 36,855, making it the third consecutive decline in monthly job cuts. Last month was 37 percent lower than August 2011, when employers announced plans to eliminate 51,114 positions from their ranks.
Since January 1, employers have announced 352,185 planned job cuts. That is nearly unchanged from a year ago; down three percent from the 2011 8-month total of 363,334. Fewer job cuts over the last three months have effectively reversed a trend that saw increased downsizing through the first half of 2012. At the midway point of the year, 2012 job cuts were 15 percent higher than at the same point in 2011.