CHICAGO, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Job layoffs slowed in the United States in August, but the summer's total for 2008 exceeded any summer since 2002, a job consulting firm said Wednesday.
U.S. employers announced 88,736 job cuts last month, a 14 percent decline from July's 103,312 announced cuts, employment researchers at Challenger, Gray & Christmas said Wednesday.
But, the monthly report said the May-August total of 377,325 job-cut announcements was 30 percent higher than the first four months of the year. The year-to-date total of 667,996 job cuts is a 29 percent increase over the first eight months of 2007, the report said.
"At the current pace, job cuts will surpass last year's 12-month total by the middle of October and could exceed 1 million for the first time since 2005," the report said.
"Hopes of a late summer reprieve in layoffs were dashed by heavy downsizing in the automotive and government sectors, where employers announced 17,233 and 12,328 job cuts, respectively," said Challenger Chief Executive Officer John Challenger.
"We have not seen this level of summer job cutting since 2002, when the country was still struggling to recover in the wake of the 2001 recession and Sept. 11," Challenger said.