Enthusiasm has soared about the job market this year, as monthly reports from the government have showed solid gains.
But now a chink has appeared in the armor. Job cuts jumped 68 percent in October to the second-highest total this year, just a month after falling to a 14-year low, according to outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas
U.S.-based employers announced 51,183 job cuts last month, compared with 30,477 in September. The October total represents a 12 percent increase from a year earlier.
October job cuts were led by the retail industry, which announced 6,874 planned layoffs during the month. That is nearly 3.5 times more than the 1,965 job cuts announced by retailers in September. To date, these employers have now announced 38,948 in 2014, second only to the computer industry.
Computer firms announced 6,509 job cuts in October, which brings the year-to-date total for the industry to 55,511, making it the leading job-cut industry by a wide margin.
"While it is too early to say for certain, the October figure may mark the kick-off to a fourth-quarter surge in job cuts," John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray, said in a statement.
"It is not unusual to see the pace of downsizing accelerate in the final months of the year, as employers take measures to meet year-end earnings and profit goals."
To be sure, job reductions for the first 10 months of the year slid 4.3 percent to 414,591 from 433,114 in the same period of 2013.
CNBC senior contributor Larry Kudlow
has been bearish on the job market for some time. "We still can't seem to stop the hemorrhaging of people dropping out of the labor force," he told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV after the jobs report last month.
He noted that the labor force participation rate fell to a 36-year low of 62.7 percent in September.
© 2023 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.