Layoffs by U.S.-based companies eased in February after surging to a six-month high at the start of the year, global outsourcing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported Thursday.
The companies announced 61,599 job cuts last month, down 18 percent from January's 75,114.
Despite the month-to-month fall, downsizing in February was 22 percent higher than in February 2015. In the January-February period, announced layoffs were 32 percent higher than during the first two months of 2015.
Pink slips in the energy sector accounted for 40 percent of February's downsizing. Employers in the sector announced 25,051 cuts.