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Job cuts surged 218% in January

Akin Oyedele

Layoff announcements surged 218% from December to January, led by the retail and energy sectors.

The latest monthly report from the staffing firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas on planned job showed that US employers in January reported 75,114 planned job cuts, up 42% year-on-year.

Retailers moved the needle on this data point the most, particularly Walmart, which announced plans to close 154 stores across America.

So really, that's the catch behind the big jump from December.

Planned job cuts by Macy's that would affect nearly 5,000 employees also pushed up the total, according to the release.

The staffing firm also said energy-sector layoffs were making a comeback.

John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray and Christmas, said: "The pace of downsizing in the energy sector ebbed in the second half of 2015, but the latest activity, which included more cuts from Halliburton and Schlumberger, is evidence the industry is far from concluding its cost-cutting initiatives."

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