Government agencies and private employers said this month that they plan to lay off 51,114 workers, the outplacement consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported this morning.
And while that's down 23 percent from the 66,414 layoffs announced in July, the August total was still "up 47 percent from a year ago," the firm said.
What's more, it added:
"Employers have now announced 363,334 planned layoffs so far this year. That is only 2.9 percent below a 2010 eight-month job-cut total of 374,121. The gap between 2010 and 2011 year-to-date job cuts has steadily fallen over the last few months. In March, year-to-date job cuts were 28 percent behind 2010. By June, the difference dropped to 17 percent. Now, less than three percent separates 2011 and 2010."
Meanwhile, the widely watched ADP National Employment Report is also out this morning. That measure of payroll employment found there were 91,000 more jobs on private payrolls this month, vs. July. The increase is down from the 109,000-gain in July from June.
The other big news about the job market this week will be out Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics issues figures on the August unemployment rate and the number of jobs on U.S. payrolls.