Changes in consumer finance led to a 44 percent surge in job cut announcements in September, as U.S.-based employers planned to cut 55,285 from their payrolls, according to global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Last month’s total is 43.7 percent higher than the 38,472 cuts announced in August and 70.9 percent higher than the 32,346 cuts announced in the same month last year. September job cut plans are the second highest monthly total behind March, when 60,357 cuts were recorded.

Nearly half (47.9 percent) of September job cuts come from Wells Fargo’s announcement that it will cut between 5 and 10 percent of its workforce over the next three years. With roughly 265,000 workers, the company plans to cut up to 26,500 (Challenger counted the higher figure in its tracking).

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