August 6, 2009 – After falling to a 15-month low in June, planned job cuts announced by U.S. employers jumped 31 percent in July to 97,373. It was the first increase in monthly job cuts since January, according to global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Despite increased job cuts, the July total was six percent lower than the same month a year ago, when employers announced 103,312 cuts. So far this year, employers have announced 994,048 job cuts, 72 percent more than the 579,260 announced in the first seven months of 2008. “After June’s surprisingly low job-cut total, a July rebound was not entirely unexpected,” said John A. Challenger, CEO. “While there are signs that the economy is stabilizing and the pace of layoffs slowing, we are still a long way from a full recovery. In fact, monthly job cuts are likely to return to levels in excess of 100,000 by the fourth quarter.” The July surge in job cuts was led by firms in the transportation industry, which announced plans to reduce payrolls by 27,954 positions in July, up 400 percent from a June layoff total of 5,587. The telecommunication sector also experienced a significant increase in layoffs last month, with job cuts surging 209 percent from 802 in June to 17,601 in July. The automotive sector, which leads all other industries in year-to-date job cuts with 122,212, has seen layoff announcements decline in each of the last three months.