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Layoff announcements dropped in April

CHICAGO, May 5 (UPI) -- U.S. job cuts dropped 43 percent from March to April, a private employment report said Wednesday.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an international outplacement firm based in Chicago, said there were 38,326 planned layoffs in April. In the previous month, firms announced 67,611 layoffs, researchers said.

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April's tally was 71 percent fewer than April a year ago, when 132,590 job cuts were announced.

For the year to date, there have been 69 percent fewer layoffs compared with the same period of 2009. A year ago, 711,100 job layoffs were announced January through April.

"We have not seen job cuts this low since before the 2001 recession. It is certainly a promising trend," Chief Executive Officer John Challenger said.

Challenger predicted hiring would increase in the next few months, but said employers were proving "stubbornly slow to hire in the onset of an expansion."

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