CHICAGO, July 1 (UPI) -- Announced U.S. job cuts dropped 67 percent January through June compared to the same period a year ago, a private outplacement firm said Thursday.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago consultancy, said U.S. employers announced 39,358 job cuts in June, the third consecutive month with cuts under 40,000.
That brought the tally for the first six months of the year to 297,677, compared to 896,675 January through June a year ago.
In June, job cuts were 47 percent lower than a year ago, when 74,393 announced layoffs were recorded.
The second quarter also saw fewer job cuts than the first -- 116,494 compared to 181,183, the report said.
"While some may question the sustainability of this recovery, the dramatic decline in planned layoffs over the past six months certainly suggests that the nation's employers are not anticipating a double-dip recession," said John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
In June, computer firms set the pace for job cuts with 9,085 layoff announcements, the highest monthly total for the sector in more than a year.
For the first half of the year, however, the government/non-profit sector has topped the list in layoffs with 98,776, followed by pharmaceutical firms with 34,987 cuts, retail with 26,181 and computer firms with 16,964.