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Companies announced the highest level of job cuts in January since early 2023, a potential trouble spot for a labor market that will be in sharp focus this year, according to a report Thursday from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The job outplacement firm said planned layoffs totaled 82,307 for the month, a jump of 136% from December though still down 20% from the same period a year ago.

It was the second-highest layoff total and the lowest planned hiring level for the month of January in data going back to 2009.

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