NEW YORK, Sept 5 The number of planned layoffs
at U.S. firms surged in August to their highest in half a year,
with industrial goods manufacturers the hardest hit, a report on
Employers announced 50,462 layoffs last month, up 33.8
percent from 37,701 in July, according to the report from
consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
The August job cuts were up 57 percent from the same time a
year ago. For 2013 so far, employers have announced 347,095 job
losses, close to the 352,185 that were seen in the first eight
months of last year.
Industrial goods manufacturers saw the biggest layoffs,
cutting 22,162 employees, the largest total for the sector since
"Heavy job cuts in the industrial goods sector are never a
good thing, as they can be indicative of widening cracks in the
economy's foundation," said John A. Challenger, chief executive
officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
"However, the August surge in industrial goods job cuts was
driven largely by falling global demand for mining equipment,"
The computer sector came in second, letting 4,663 workers
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 August, keeping the unemployment rate flat at