U.S. job cuts soared to a nearly four-year high in July as the military announced plans to reduce troop and civilian workforce payrolls, according to outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Employers based in the United States announced 105,696 layoffs last month, the first time monthly reductions exceeded 100,000 since September 2011. A year ago, U.S. companies announced plans to cut 46,887 jobs.
The Challenger report comes a day before the Labor Department's crucial July jobs report. A weak report would make it less likely for the Federal Reserve to announce its first interest rate increase in nine years at its September meeting.
July's reductions bring the year-to-date total to 393,368 cuts, a 34 percent increase from the period last year.
The Army accounted for more than half of the total with 57,000 cuts expected over the next two years.
"When the military makes cuts, they tend to be deep," Challenger CEO John A. Challenger said in a statement. "With wars in Afghanistan and Iraq winding down and pressure to cut government spending, the military has been vulnerable to reductions."
The technology sector also contributed to July's announced job reductions, with computer and electronics companies announcing 18,891 layoffs in July.