Monthly job cuts surged to the highest level since February, as U.S.-based employers announced plans in August to slash payrolls by 50,462, a 33.8 percent increase from the 37,701 planned job cuts announced in July, according to a report Wednesday from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
Job cuts last month were 57 percent higher than a year ago, when employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 32,239. This marks the third consecutive month in which job cuts outpaced the comparable period from 2012. August ranks as the second largest job-cut month of the year behind February, when announced layoffs reached 55,356.
Employers have now announced 347,095 job cuts so far this year. That virtually matches the 352,185 job cuts announced from January through August 2012.
August workforce reductions were dominated by the industrial goods sector, where manufacturers announced 22,162 job cuts. That was the largest job-cut total for this sector since January 2009, when 32,083 planned layoffs were announced. It is the largest one-month job-cut total for a single industry category this year and nearly surpasses the 26,103 job cuts announced by industrial goods manufacturers in all of 2012.