NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Businesses announced plans to cut about 248,000 jobs last month, the biggest total so far this year, as planned cutbacks accelerated after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, an employment consulting firm said Thursday.|
Job cuts announced by U.S. companies totaled 248,332, with 200,807 of those coming after Sept. 11, Challenger Gray & Christmas said in its monthly report. On that date, terrorists hijacked four commercial jets and rammed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The report comes after the Labor Department said new unemployment claims jumped to their highest level in nine years last week, also due in part to more job cuts after the attacks. Job cuts in travel-related industries led to the jump in claims, the department said.
In its report, Challenger said the transportation sector led the cuts with 96,333 announced in September, followed by the aerospace and defense industries, 38,580, the computer industry, 20,915 and entertainment, 17,619.
Business at airlines and other tourism companies got hit particularly hard after the attacks.
The report also said 594,326 job cuts were announced in the third quarter, 60 percent more than in the second quarter and about 15,000 more jobs than in the same quarter a year earlier.
Despite the enormous cuts, many job sectors are expected to expand as a direct result of the billions of government dollars spent on the anti-terrorism war effort, said the firm's CEO, John Challenger.
"Job opportunities are described on the front pages daily as new emphasis is put on several industries, including security, communications, defense, medical equipment and supplies, as well as continuing significant opportunities in health care," Challenger said.