Firms' Layoff Plans Down 32 Percent

U.S. companies announced fewer layoffs in August than in July, but the number of monthly job cuts is still too high to signal an imminent recovery, a report said on Wednesday.

Announced job cuts totaled 140,019, down 32 percent from July when companies announced 205,975 layoffs, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said.

However, job cut announcements grew 145 percent this month compared with August 2000.

``There is no evidence reported by any industry that anything that could be called a significant sustainable rebound is on the horizon for this year or even early next year,'' the report said.

The high-tech industries of telecommunications, computers and electronics were hit hardest -- total layoff announcements in the three sectors rose 1,223 percent from one year prior.

U.S. firms have announced a total of 1,123,356 layoffs so far this year, only 165,736 fewer than the combined total for 1999 and 2000, Challenger said.

Challenger started its survey in 1993.