Thursday, February 02, 2012

Challenger: Job cuts increased in January

One step forward two steps back.
The U.S. job market stumbled out of the gates in 2012 -- at least according to one report.

Planned job cuts for the month of January totaled 53,486, according to a report from outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That's a 28% increase from December and the highest total since the 116,000 cuts announced in September.

Leading the way were financial firms and retailers, which announced lay-offs totaling 7,611 and 12,426, respectively. Cuts of seasonal retail workers typically don't show up in the report, Challenger said.

The Challenger report follows data Wednesday from payroll processor ADP saying that the private sector added 170,000 jobs in January, down sharply from 292,000 in December.

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