FLORIDA (CBSMiami) – The new year led to new layoff announcements by Florida employers…and they were more numerous than in December.

The trend mimics the rise in nationwide cuts in January, according to new data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported in the South Florida Business Journal.

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Florida employers announced 2,892 cuts in January. That’s an increase of over 800% from December, during which 354 jobs were eliminated. Florida lead the Southeast in job cuts, followed by 825 job cuts in North Carolina and 815 in South Carolina.

The job-cut figures are based on public layoff announcements, such the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices filed with the state of Florida.

In January, announced layoffs in South Florida included 79 workers in West Palm Beach by Cemex.

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Nationally, the number of planned job cuts announced in January rose 24 percent to 40,430, from 32,556 cuts in December. Job cuts were led by the financial and retail sectors, which announced 8,578 and 6,676 job cuts, respectively.

“While GDP contracted by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, the relatively low job-cut totals we have seen for the last couple of months indicate that employers do not foresee a prolonged decline in economic activity,” John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement to the business journal.

“In fact, recent data showing increased consumer spending, including a 14-percent increase in purchases of durable goods, as well as increased home sales and increased home prices, suggest that the economy is heading upward in the early part of the new year,” Challenger added.

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