CHICAGO, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. job cuts dropped 16 percent in October compared with September, the third consecutive monthly decline, a private employment report said Wednesday.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a Chicago-based international outplacement firm, said there were 55,679 planned layoffs in October. In the previous month, firms announced 66,404 layoffs, researchers said.
October's layoff tally was the lowest since March 2008. It was also 51 percent below October 2008, the report said.
Announced layoffs during the recession peaked at 241,749 in January. But the count has fallen eight of the past 10 months.
"While there are still some trouble spots, the continued decline in job cutting activity across most industries is a positive sign that the economy is slowly improving. Taken with the recently reported rise in GDP, increase in manufacturing activity and unexpected gain in home sales, it appears that the light at the end of the tunnel is finally visible," said Chief Executive Officer John Challenger in a statement.
Challenger also said, "it is important to realize that, as deep and widespread as this recession was, it is going to be a long and sometimes painful recover."