The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms fell in May for the third month in a row as there was little sign so far that fiscal austerity in Washington was hampering the job market in a significant way, a report on Thursday showed.
Employers announced 36,398 job cuts last month, down 4.5 percent from 38,121 in April, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
May's layoffs were also significantly lower than what was seen a year ago, down 41.2 percent from last May's 61,887. May typically sees the smallest number of layoffs of the year, the report said.
For 2013 so far, employers have announced 219,560 cuts, compared to the 245,540 jobs that were cut in the first five months of 2012.