PhotoEmployers are hanging on to their workers.

Outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports bosses announced plans to trim their payrolls by just 31,105 jobs in June. That's the lowest monthly total of the year, down 6% from May and 19.3% lower June 2016.

“In a tight labor market, it’s no surprise companies are holding on to their existing workforces,” said Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John Challenger. “Companies are also waiting to see how proposed regulations from the Trump administration may impact business going forward.”

A slowdown in job cuts

The job-cutting pace is is down significantly from first half of last year. Through the first six months of this year, employers sacked 227,000 workers, down 28% from the first half of 2016.

Terminations in the second quarter totaled 100,799 -- a 20% drop from the first three months of the year and 24% lower than the same second quarter of 2016.

The six-month tally

Companies in the technology industry -- computer, electronics, and telecommunications -- have announced 23,813 workforce reductions so far this year, down 52.5% from the first half of 2016.

Retailers have announced 60,127 job cuts through June, 42% more than during the first half of 2016, and the highest first-half total since 2009.

During that year, the sector cut 98,807 jobs -- the highest annual total since 2003.

Jobless claims

Separately, the Labor Department (DOL) reports first-time applications for state unemployment benefits rose by 4,000 in the week ending July 1 to 248,000 from the previous week's unrevised level.

The 4-week moving average, considered a more accurate picture of the labor market due to its relatively low level of volatility, came in at 243,000, up 750 from the previous week's unrevised average.

The complete report may be found on the DOL website.


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