Planned layoffs fell 26 percent in March from February — the lowest level in 11 months, according to a report released on Tuesday.

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Total planned layoffs in the month were 64,975 jobs, down from 87,437 cuts announced in February, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an employment consulting firm. Planned job cuts were down 25 percent in March from the same month last year.

In first quarter of 2006, U.S. employers announced 255,878 job cuts, which is nearly 11 percent lower than the 287,134 cuts in the first three months of 2005.

The biggest job losses during the month came in the telecommunications sector, with 11,047 cuts announced, as mergers took a toll on employment, Challenger said in a statement.

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