2013 January Job Cut Report: 40,430 Announced Cuts

The nation’s employers announced plans to cut payrolls by 40,430 jobs in January, up 24 percent from 32,556 in December, according to the latest report on planned job cuts released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

While January job cuts were up from the previous month, they were 24 percent lower than the 53,486 layoffs announced by employers the same month a year ago. This was, in fact, the third lowest January total in Challenger records going back to 1993. The only years to see fewer January job cuts were 1995 (38,962) and 2011 (38,519).

Not only was the January total among the lowest on record, but it appears that the planned layoffs announced last month will be more than offset by planned hiring. Planned hiring announcements, which represent a small fraction of the actual hiring activity in the economy, totaled 60,585 in January.

January job cuts were led by the financial and retail sectors, which announced 8,578 and 6,676 job cuts, respectively. Financial job cuts were up slightly from a year ago, when these employers announced 7,611 to start the year. Retail job cuts were 46 percent lower than the 12,426 layoffs announced in the sector in the first month of 2012.