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Job cuts surge in August

  |   Sept. 5, 2013 at 10:23 AM
CHICAGO, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. companies announced more than 50,000 job cuts in August, the most in any month since February, a private employment firm said Thursday.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas said 50,462 layoffs were announced in the month, compared to 37,701 announced in July.

The job cuts announcements in August were 33.8 percent higher than the previous month and 57 percent higher than August 2012, the employment firm said.

From January through August, U.S. firms have announced 347,095 job cuts, which is just shy of the 352,185 announced in the first eight months of 2012.

Chief Executive Officer John Challenger said the cuts announced in August were not as worrisome as they might be, as "the August surge in industrial cuts were driven largely by falling global demand for mining equipment."

"While that definitely has an impact on the economy, it is not as worrisome as an overall slowdown in construction or manufacturing," he said.

The industrial sector announced 22,000 job cuts in August, the most of any business sector and well above the second largest total, which was 4,663 job cuts announced by computer companies.

For the year so far, the finance sector has announced the most layoffs -- 41,942 of them, which is a 56 percent gain compared to the first eight months of 2012.

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