CHICAGO, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. employers announced 33,816 layoffs in September, a slight gain over August, a private outplacement firm said Thursday.
Outplacement specialist Challenger, Gray & Christmas said announced job cuts rose 4.9 percent from August, when job cuts -- 32,239 of them -- were at a monthly low unseen since December 2010.
September's layoff announcements were 71 percent lower than September 2011, a month when job cuts "unexpectedly surged to a 29-month high of 115,730," the monthly report said.
For September, the 2012 total was the lowest for the month since 1997, when there were 20,698 job cuts announced.
For 2012, January through September, 386,001 layoffs have been announced, 19 percent fewer than the first nine months of 2011.
For the third quarter, job cuts were comparatively low. The 102,910 announcements July through September was "one of the slowest job-cut quarters in over a decade," Challenger, Gray & Christmas said.
Specifically, it was the lowest quarterly job cut total since the second quarter of 2000, when employers announced 81,568 layoffs in the three-month period.