U.S. planned layoffs little changed in Nov -Challenger

NEW YORK Thu Dec 5, 2013 7:30am EST

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NEW YORK Dec 5 (Reuters) - The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms dipped by less than 1 percent in November, with the retail sector seeing the greatest number of job losses, a report on Thursday showed.

Employers announced 45,314 layoffs last month, down from 45,730 in October, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The November figure fell 21 percent from a year earlier, when planned layoffs totaled 57,081, and marked the second month in a row that announced workforce reductions dropped year over year.

For 2013 so far, employers have announced 478,428 cuts, down 2.5 percent from the 490,806 seen in the first 11 months of last year. For all of 2012, planned layoffs totaled 523,362.

The retail sector was the most active for planned cuts last month, with 9,998, largely as a result of DISH Network Corp.'s closure of its remaining Blockbuster video stores and Safeway Inc.'s plans for shuttering of all of its Dominick's grocery stores in the Chicago area, the report said.

Transportation came in second with 5,901 cuts, while aerospace and defense sector was third with 4,l74.

The figures come one day ahead of the key U.S. non-farm payrolls report, which is forecast to show the economy added 180,000 jobs in November with the unemployment rate edging down to 7.2 percent from its current 7.3 percent.

On Wednesday, payrolls processor ADP reported private employers added 215,000 jobs last month, well above market forecasts.

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