CHICAGO (CBS) — There is more evidence that the economy is contracting, with grim job numbers coming out.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas says in September, employers announced plans to cut 115,730 jobs. That is the worst in over two years – 126 percent more than August, and 212 percent more than September of last year.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

In total, the number of job cuts in the third quarter this year measure 232,258 nationwide, the highest since the third quarter of 2009, and 103 percent higher than the second quarter of this year.

A third of the layoffs this year came from government employers. Specifically, the heaviest cuts are coming in the U.S. military, an omen of what might be ahead if the federal government opposes sharp spending cuts.

A total of 50,000 cuts in military jobs are related to the troop reduction plan announced by the U.S. Army.

The banking sector also has been hit hard. Bank of America announced last month that it would cut 30,000 jobs in the nationwide by the end of 2013.

The cuts announced by the Army and Bank of America were partially offset last month by several retailers that announced plans to hire, Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported. With the Halloween retail season in full swing, the retailers Halloween City and Party City are hiring 12,000 and 14,000 employees, respectively, and Toys ‘R’ Us is hiring about 40,000 holiday seasonal workers this year, the firm reported.

Through the first three quarters of this year, employers have announced 479,064 planned layoffs, a jump of 16.5 percent from last year.

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