Reuters
May 1, 2008

NEW YORK (May 1) – U.S. companies’ planned layoffs jumped 68 percent in April from the prior month to the highest since September 2006, pointing to further deterioration in the labor market, a report showed on Thursday.

Planned job cuts in U.S. companies totaled 90,015 last month, up from 53,579 in March and up 27 percent from a year earlier, employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. reported.

The April layoffs were the steepest since the 100,315 cuts announced in September 2006.

Most of the announced job cuts came from the financial sector, due to the housing slump and about $300 billion in write-downs on bad mortgages and investments, the firm said.

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