CHICAGO, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Announced U.S. job cuts in December were the lowest since the recession began in December 2007, a private outplacement firm said Wednesday.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas said U.S. employers announced 45,094 job cuts in December. But the lowest monthly total of the year did not prevent job cuts in 2009 from surpassing each year back to 2002.
Job cuts have declined for five consecutive months and dropped 10 percent from November. The figure is also 73 percent lower than the 166,348 job cuts announced in December 2008.
"It definitely was a bi-polar year when it came to downsizing," said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas
The automotive sector announced 119,496 jobs cuts in the first six months of 2009 and 54,696 in the second half. Employers in industrial goods announced 90,766 layoffs January through June and 34,657 July through December. Government and non-profit job cuts fell from 102,302 to 65,551 from the first to the second half of the year.
For the year, 1,288,030 layoffs were announced in 2009, 5.3 percent higher than the 1,223,993 layoffs in 2008.
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