Although the pace of layoff announcements accelerated in the last quarter of 2012, the year saw fewer planned job cuts than any year since 1997, according to Challenger, Gray and Christmas, a national firm that corporations hire to give job hunting advice to people the companies laid off.
There were 523,362 job cuts announced during 2012, the lowest yearly tally since 1997, when there were 434,350 job cuts. The 2012 total was 14 percent lower than 2011′s 606,082 layoffs.
The financial sector was the area of the economy where the most mass layoffs were announced in December, with Citigroup alone planning 11,000 layoffs.
But for the entire year, the computer industry was the most aggressive cost-cutter, with 46,164 intended layoffs. More than half of the total came from 27,000 job cuts planned by Hewlett-Packard.
But not all of these job reductions are in the United States. At Hewlett-Packard, for instance, according to a published report by Bloomberg, 2/3 of the cuts are outside the country.
Some of the Citigroup cuts will be in Uruguay, Paraguay, Pakistan, Romania and Turkey, according to Bloomberg.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which limits its layoff data to jobs within the United States, will have year-end information on January 25th.