January job cuts up

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Planned workforce reductions announced by United States employers spiked 69 percent during January to 74,986, up from 44,416 during December.

It was the highest monthly total since August, when employers announced 79,459 job cuts.

A monthly report released this week by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. also showed that job cuts last month were 19 percent higher than the 62,975 announced in January 2007.

The total was still short of record 2001 job loss levels between March 2001 and November 2001, “suggesting that the housing market troubles still have not spread beyond financial services and construction,” CEO John Challenger said, attributing the muted impact so far to the government’s fiscal and monetary stimulus packages.