(Reuters) – The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms surged in January to its highest level in four months as retailers and financial firms cut jobs, a report on Thursday showed.

Employers announced 53,486 planned job cuts last month, up 28 percent from 41,785 in December, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

January’s job cuts were also up from the same time a year ago, gaining 38.9 percent from the 38,519 layoffs announced in January 2011.

A surge in job cuts at the start of the year is not unusual, the report said. January is historically the heaviest month of cuts, averaging 101,084 layoffs between 1993 and 2001.

2 thoughts on “Whee

  1. jeez this was the next article down on the page to the original story:

    More From Reuters
    Jobless claims fall, jobs market slowly healing

    WASHINGTON – New claims for unemployment benefits in the United States fell more than expected last week, pointing to more healing in the nation’s battered jobs market.

  2. The put on extra workers in the fall for the holidays and then lay them off after Christmas. No big surprise there. And if you have only been employed for one quarter you probably do not have enough weeks employment to qualify for UI, so, “jobless claims”, as they say, do not go up from the layoffs.

    Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.

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