updated 11/2/2005 1:13:17 PM ET 2005-11-02T18:13:17

In a possible sign that the U.S. job market is holding up pretty well, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas said Wednesday employers announced 81,000 job cuts last month, the lowest October figure in five years.

For the year so far, Challenger says nearly 865,000 job cuts have been announced, with 89,000 of those cuts coming in the auto industry. Retailers have also seen a significant number of job cuts, with 81,000 announced so far this year.

October’s job cut number is 20 percent below the figure for the same month a year ago, but up 13 percent from September.

CEO of Challenger, Gray and Christmas John Challenger says that while there are some troubling signs that the economy is not on sure footing, a typical year-end job-cutting surge has yet to materialize. Challenger says that suggests that employers are taking a “wait-and-see” approach.

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