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As retailers began to layoff some of the employees they hired for the holiday season, planned layoffs across the nation increased in January, said outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas on Thursday.

But not in Florida, there were 812 announced layoffs compared with 2,892 in January 2013 -- a 72 percent decrease from a year ago.

The retail jobs sector continues to be strong in South Florida and statewide. In December, Broward County added 6,300 retail jobs, an increase of 5.9 percent, according to the state. Palm Beach  County added 5,300 retail jobs, up 7.3 percent from a year ago.

The planned job cuts that did occur in Florida were Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, retailer Saks, Community Health Systems and a Hyatt Regency spa company, Challenger said.


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U.S.-based employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 45,107 in January. The December total was 30,623.

January job cuts were up 12 percent from the same month a year ago, when 40,430 planned layoffs were recorded.

Poor earnings in the retail sector led to downsizing at several national chains including Macy's, Sam's Club, JC Penney, Sears, Best Buy and Target. Retailers announced 11,394 job cuts in January, a 71 percent increase from the 6,676 cuts tracked in January 2013. 

"Holiday sales gains were relatively weak and many retailers achieved gains by slashing prices," said John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That made the post-holiday job cuts "inevitable," he said.