Monthly job cuts declined for the third consecutive month in May, as U.S.-based employers announced plans to trim payrolls by 36,398 during the month, 4.5 percent fewer than 38,121 cuts in April. The May total was 41 percent lower than the same month a year ago, when employers slashed payrolls by 61,887, according to the report Thursday from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

To date, the nation’s employers have announced 219,560 planned job cuts in 2013. That is down 11 percent from the 245,540 planned cuts announced in the first five months of 2012.

It is not unusual to see job cuts decline during the summer months. In fact, May is historically the slowest job-cut month of the year, averaging 57,688 since 1993. The next lowest job-cut month is June, according to Challenger records, which show it averaging 59,887 since 1993. The overall average monthly total across all months since 1993 is 70,288.

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