Total job cuts announced for the month were only down 3.3 percent from the 53,486 job layoffs announced in January, outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas said.
For the year to date, layoff announcements are 18 percent higher in 2012 than they were a year earlier in January and February.
Unlike 2011, however, the business sector announcing the most layoffs this year has been consumer products and transportation. In 2011, job cuts in the first two months of the year were dominated by government job losses.
So far in 2012, consumer products firms have announced 16,320 job cuts, while the transportation sector has announced 15,835. Together, they account for more than 30 percent of the job cut announcements for the year to date.