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December Planned Layoffs Lowest in Six Months: Challenger

Reuters (01/05/12) Leong, Richard

Planned layoffs by U.S. employers in December declined to its lowest level since June, according to a new report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Employers announced 41,785 planned job cuts in December, down 1.6% from 42,474 in November. Despite the decrease toward the end of 2011, the figure in December was still a 31% increase over December 2010.

“Job cuts in 2011 were dominated by the government and financial sectors. These two alone accounted for 41% of all the job cuts announced last year,” said John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger. The 183,064 government job cuts in 2011 represented a record high for that sector since Challenger began tracking it in 2002.