Challenger : Planned Layoffs Jump to Highest Since March in November

Reuters

The number of planned layoffs by U.S. employers rose in November to the highest level since March, with the government and non-profit sector leading the rise, a report on Wednesday showed.

Employers announced 48,711 planned job cuts last month, up 28% from 37,986 in October, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

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It was the highest job-cut total since March, when employers announced plans to cut 67,611 jobs, the report said.

Still, job cuts remain well below last year's levels, it said, with total job cut announcements for January through November down 60% from the same period a year ago.

The government and non-profit sector announced 10,761 layoffs during November, leading layoffs for the seventh time this year, the report showed.

Budgetary constraints due to falling tax receipts have been hurting the sector.

"Unfortunately, 2011 may not offer much respite for workers in the sector as many newly elected members of Congress are pushing for significant federal spending cuts," John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement.

"Job cuts that have been concentrated at the state and local level could expand to include federal workers in the new year," he said.

Offsetting those cuts were plans to hire in the retail sector, which reported plans to add 15,900 seasonal workers last month.

The figures come two days ahead of the U.S. government's monthly employment report, which is forecast to show job gains in public and private payrolls.

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