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Feb 6, 2014 11:55 AM by Associated Press

Survey: Job cuts surge in January

CHICAGO (AP) - After hitting a 13-year-low in December, the monthly Challenger, Gray and Christmas job cuts survey finds layoffs surged nearly 50 percent in January.

The global outplacement firm says U.S.-based employers announced plans for more than 45,000 job cuts last month. That's up 47 percent from December, and 12 percent higher than the same month last year.

Challenger says the retail sector was the biggest loser in the downsizing. Led by major national chains like Macy's, Best Buy and Target, retailers announced more than 11,000 job cuts in January. That's a 71 percent increase from retail cuts in January of 2013.

Challenger CEO John Challenger says that while retailers started shedding tens of thousands of temporary seasonal workers hired for the holiday season, it goes beyond that. He says the cuts "will impact full-time, permanent workers in the stores and corporate offices of the struggling chains."

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