A report released Thursday from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas shows that the number of planned layoffs at U.S. companies hit a 20-month low in August.
According to the report, U.S. firms cut 32,239 workers from payrolls in August 2012. It was the fewest number of monthly jobs cut by companies since December 2010, when the layoff count was at 32,004.
August job cuts were down 12.5% from July, making it the third consecutive decline in monthly layoffs.
Although the numbers are an encouraging improvement from August 2011, when 51,114 jobs were eliminated, planned layoffs are still effecting hundreds of thousands across the U.S. Since January 1, there have been 352,185 job cuts announced. That figure is just slightly lower than last year’s 8-month total of 363,334.
August job cuts were led by the telecommunications sector, where 4,584 people lost their jobs. More than 4,000 of those cuts transpired because of Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) acquisition of Motorola Mobility, according to the study.