Planned job cuts increased for the second consecutive month in February as U.S.-based employers announced workforce reductions totaling 55,356, up 37 percent from 40,430 in January, according to the report released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
The February total was 7.0 percent higher than the 51,728 job cuts announced the same month a year ago. It was the highest monthly tally since last November, when announced layoffs reached 57,081.
Employers have now announced 95,786 job cuts so far in 2013. That is 9.0 percent fewer than the 105,214 job cuts through the first two months of 2012.
The financial sector dominated job cuts last month, with firms announcing 21,724 planned layoffs, the most since 31,167 were announced in September 2011. Last month’s total was nearly three times more than the 7,611 job cuts announced by financial institutions in January. Employers in this sector have now announced 30,302 job cuts this year, which is nearly 75 percent of the 41,008 financial job cuts announced in all of 2012.