The nation’s employers reported job cuts totaling 49,255 in March, a decline of 11 percent from the 55,356 cuts announced in February, according to the latest report on downsizing activity released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Despite the decline, quarterly job cuts reached their highest level since 2011.
March job cuts were 30 percent higher than a year ago, when employers announced plans to shed 37,880 workers from their payrolls. This marks the second consecutive month and the fourth time in the last six months that the job-cut total was higher than the year-ago figure.
Employers have now announced 145,041 job cuts through the first three months of 2013. That 5.6 percent higher than the previous quarter’s 137,361 job cuts and 1.4 percent higher than the 143,094 job cuts announced in the first quarter of 2012. The first-quarter total is, in fact, the highest quarterly tally since 233,258 job cuts were tracked in the third quarter of 2011.