Survey: Job Cuts Returning To Normal

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The Challenger, Gray and Christmas job cuts survey finds employers cutting way back on layoffs.

The outplacement firm says layoffs last month were up about five percent from August, but CEO John Challenger says that was a 20-month low. And he says there was "a big drop from last year," noting that layoffs in September were down 71 percent from a year ago.

For the third quarter, layoffs were the fewest for any quarter during the past 12 years. And year-to-date job cuts are at a 15-year low. Challenger says, "You have to go back to 1997 to find fewer job cuts announced in the first nine months of the year."

But he says while layoffs are back to pre-recession levels, hiring remains very sluggish. So it's good if you have a job, but still tough if you don't.