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U.S. layoffs at 20-month low

Sept. 6, 2012 at 12:31 PM

CHICAGO, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. employers announced 32,239 layoffs in August, the lowest number since December 2010, a private outplacement firm said Thursday.

Outplacement specialist Challenger, Gray & Christmas said announced job cuts dropped 12.5 percent from July's total of 36,855. Job cuts also dropped 37 percent from August 2011, when 51,114 layoffs were announced.

For 2012, January through August, 352,185 layoffs have been announced, "nearly unchanged from a year ago," the monthly report said.

In the first eight months of 2011, employers announced 363,334 job cuts.

"Fewer job cuts over the last three months have effectively reversed a trend that saw increased downsizing through the first half of 2012," Challenger, Gray & Christmas said in a release.

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