The number of American companies planning job cuts jumped in April from the previous month.
U.S. employers planned to cut payrolls by 40,298 in the month, up 17 percent from March's planned layoffs, according to a report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. In March, employers planned 34,399 layoffs.
The retail and financial services sectors continued to suffer the bulk of the job losses, as employers faced a challenging business environment, the report showed.
The report noted, however, that the pace of layoffs in 2014—161,639 planned cuts so far—is the lowest since 1997.
"The pace of downsizing remains relatively low. However, while the economy still has a lot of room for growth, it is unlikely that monthly layoffs will experience a precipitous decline," said Chief Executive John Challenger in a statement.
CORRECTED: This article has been updated to show that U.S. employers planned to cut payrolls by 40,298 in April.