Job cuts announced by U.S.-based employers in August totaled 115,762, 116% higher than the August 2019 total of 53,480, according to a monthly report released Thursday by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

August’s total is 56% lower than the 262,649 job cuts announced in July. It is the highest total in August since 2002, when 118,067 job cuts were announced. So far this year, employers have announced 1,963,458 cuts, 231% higher than the 592,556 cuts tracked in January-August of 2019. Announced job cuts in 2020 have surpassed the previous record annual total of 1,956,876 recorded in 2001.

“The leading sector for job cuts last month was Transportation, as airlines begin to make staffing decisions in the wake of decreased travel and uncertain federal intervention. An increasing number of companies that initially had temporary job cuts or furloughs are now making them permanent,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Transportation companies announced 26,545 cuts in August. Although this was 59% lower than the 65,093 cuts announced in July, it is 647% higher than the 3,554 cuts announced in August 2019. So far this year, the sector has cut 131,571 jobs, a 482% increase over the 22,593 cuts announced in January-August 2019.

Read and download the full report with tables