Chicago, IL, Nov. 1, 2012 -– Planned job cuts by U.S.-based employers rose 41% in October to 47,724, as a spate of layoff announcements in the wake of weak quarterly earnings reports helped push downsizing activity to its highest level in five months, according to outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
The October surge follows a relatively mild September, during which employers announced 33,816 job cuts, which was the second lowest monthly total in the last 22 months.
October was the highest job-cut month since May, when 61,887 planned layoffs were announced. It was up 12% from the same month a year ago.
Despite last month’s sharp increase, layoffs for the year are still well below last year’s pace. Through 10 months, employers announced 433,725 job cuts, 17% fewer than the 521,823 cuts announced between January and October 2011.
The automotive sector led the surge in October job cuts, most of them by the Ford Motor Co., which announced a plant closing in Belgium that will affect 9,500 workers, but not Americans.