A sudden and unexpected burst in private-sector downsizing pushed the number of announced job cuts to a 16-month high of 66,414 in July, according the latest report on downsizing activity released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
The 66,414 job cuts last month were up 60 percent from the previous month, when employers announced plans to shed 41,432 workers. The July figure was 59 percent higher than the 41,676 layoffs recorded in July 2010. It was the largest monthly total since March 2010, when 67,611 job cuts were announced by the nation’s employers.
The July job-cut surge was dominated by a flurry of large layoffs by a handful of private-sector employers, including Merck & Co., Borders, Cisco Systems, Lockheed Martin and Boston Scientific. The job cuts from these five companies alone accounted for 38,100 or 57 percent of the July total.
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