Fewer workers were told to hit the road last month. The outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas says there were nearly 60,000 job cuts announced in April. That's 8 percent below March's level.

The auto industry continues to set the job-cutting pace. Challenger says that sector announced more than 13,000 job cuts last month. Year-to-date, the auto industry is said to have announced nearly 56,000 job cuts.

The firm predicts that job cuts will not decline this summer, however, because firms will be struggling with high gasoline prices.

Friday, the Labor Department is to release the April employment report. Analysts are looking for the jobless rate to remain steady at 4.7 percent.

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