updated 10/3/2006 10:46:46 AM ET 2006-10-03T14:46:46

The number of job cuts announced by U.S. corporations in September were up 54 percent from the number reported in the prior month for a total of 100,315, according to a report Tuesday from an outplacement firm.

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This was only the third time this year that job-cut announcements increased according to the monthly Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. survey, although it was the second monthly increase in a row. September was the first time since January that monthly job cuts exceeded 100,000.

The report is an anecdotal, non-statistical tally of job-cut announcements that are reported in major media outlets. The report focuses only on job-cut announcements, not actual layoffs, and it doesn’t take into account new hires or internal transfers at companies that have announced layoffs.

“September is just the beginning of what is typically the heaviest job-cutting period of the year,” noted John Challenger, CEO of the firm. “It is not out of the realm of possibility that we will see another 300,000 job cuts by the end of the year.”

The most job cuts during the month came in the auto industry. There were 33,745 job cuts in the auto industry in September.

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