US planned layoffs totaled 44,842 in June: Challenger

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The number of layoffs announced by U.S.-based companies ticked up nearly 10 percent in June from the previous month, contributing to the highest level of job cuts by midyear since 2010.

Employers announced 44,842 job reductions last month, according to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. In May, Challenger reported 41,034 planned layoffs.

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In the first half of the year, job cuts surged 17 percent from the same period in 2014, driven by downsizing in the energy industry as commodity prices remained under pressure after a roughly 60 percent collapse through January.

U.S. headquartered businesses said they would hand out 287,762 pink slips in the first six months of 2015.

Energy companies announced 60,500 layoffs through June. But the impact of low crude prices was not limited to the oil patch. All told, oil's decline led to 69,582 job losses, according to Challenger, second only to restructuring, which claimed 89,978 positions.

The retail sector ranked second for planned layoffs year to date. Retailers announced nearly 70 percent more cuts through June than during the same period last year.

"Retailers should be enjoying the benefits of falling oil prices, as consumers have the money they are saving at the gas pump to spend elsewhere," John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement. "However, it appears that consumers were hoarding that cash, at least through the first half of the year."