Challenger: US employers announce 30,740 job cuts in October, a 5-month low

October job cuts down 31%: Report

The number of announced layoffs fell to a five-month low in October, according to a new monthly survey.

U.S.-based employers announced they would cut 30,740 jobs in October, a 31 percent drop from September, global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported Thursday.

It said October's total was the second-lowest of 2016, trailing 30,157 pink slips in May.

"I think it suggests that employers right now really are holding onto their people," Challenger CEO John A. Challenger told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "Right now, businesses are taking a breather, kind of a 'wait and see' attitude as they move into 2017."

For the second time in three months, most of the reductions were in the computer industry, which cut 4,792 jobs in October, bringing the sector's yearly total to 64,511.

The computer industry's total for 2016 is second only to the energy sector, which has cut a total of 103,147.

The majority of the computer industry's cuts stemmed from "the newly formed HP Inc.," the report said, which experienced difficulty settling into the tech sector.

"Heavier job cuts in the tech sector this year have been more indicative of an industry that is in flux, as opposed to one that is in trouble," Challenger said in a statement released by the company. "That is the nature of technology, so it is not unusual to see workforce volatility. Overall, the tech sector is about as healthy as it gets."

Though the energy sector topped the list of biggest cutters, layoffs have slowed. Energy companies announced 4,414 cuts in October, versus 50,000 cuts in the first three months of 2016.

Challenger told CNBC the report's numbers will likely correlate with Friday's employment report from the Labor Department. "There just isn't much pressure on companies to lay people off right now," he said.

Challenger said election jitters have contributed little to the slowing monthly rate of cuts, instead taking a more positive tone.

"This low monthly total is most likely due to the fact the economy is relatively healthy and that most employers don't see those conditions changing in the next three to six months," he said in the company's report.

To date, employers have announced 466,352 job cuts this year.