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Survey: U.S. Firms Announce Deeper Job Cuts In January

By Agence France-Presse American employers swung a heavier jobs axe in January, announcing more than 100,000 cuts for the first time in three months, a closely watched survey showed Feb. 3. Companies planned 117,556 cuts in January, traditionally a tough month for the labor market, up 26% from December, said the survey conducted for outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. It was the biggest job-cutting figure since October. "It is too early to tell if we are going to have another year of heavy job cutting," said the company's chief executive, John Challenger. "We typically see higher job cuts in January as companies set into motion business plans and employment needs for the new year." In January 2003, employers had announced 132,222 job cuts. Workers in the consumer-products industry were hardest hit with 22,775 cuts, followed by the financial sector with 15,157, retail with 14,016, food with 12,701 and industrial goods with 11,797. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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