The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms fell 20 percent in September, even as cuts in the health-care sector more than doubled from the prior month, a report on Thursday showed.
Employers announced 40,289 layoffs last month, down from 50,462 in August, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Still, the September job cuts were up 19 percent from the same month last year. For 2013 so far, employers have announced 387,384 losses, close to the 386,000 seen in the first nine months of last year.
(Read more: Mortgage slowdownforces new layoffs at Wells Fargo)
The health-care sector saw the biggest layoffs, with plans to cut 8,128 employees as health companies faced lower government payments, up from 3,163 in August.