Planned Job Cuts Decline in February

Chicago, IL, March 6, 2014 -- The pace of employment downsizing declined slightly in February, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

U.S.-based employers announced plans to cut payrolls by 41,835 in February, a decline of 7.3% from the 45,107 job cuts employers announced in January.

After falling to a 13-year low in December, monthly job cuts surged nearly 50% to kick off 2014.

February job cuts were down 24% from the same month a year ago, when 55,356 planned layoffs were recorded. It was the lowest February total since 35,415 job cuts were announced in 2000.

Through the first two months of 2014, employers announced 86,942 planned job cuts, which is 9.2% fewer than the 95,786 job cuts tracked in January and February of 2013.

At the current pace, with job cuts averaging 43,471 per month, the first quarter could see the fewest announced layoffs since 1995, when job cuts totaled 97,716 through the end of March.