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Planned layoffs drop 39% in June: Challenger

Planned layoffs drop 39% in June: Challenger (by Steve Goldstein)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Planned layoffs fell 39% to a 13-month low in June, as U.S.-based employers announced job cuts totaling 37,551, outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas said. The June total is 9.4% lower than the 41,432 planned job cuts announced the same month a year ago. It is the lowest monthly total since May 2011. However, second-quarter job cuts were up 22% from the prior-year period. "Even with recent signs that the economy is headed for another summer slump or worse, including the first contraction in manufacturing activity in three years, employers appear reluctant to shed too many workers," said John Challenger, CEO of the firm.