CHICAGO (CBS) — The U.S. Department of Labor issues its key monthly jobs report for August Friday morning, but another report today suggests the job market is in something of a holding pattern.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, planned job cuts in August dropped to their lowest level in 20 months, according to Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas.

Chief executive officer John Challenger says the 32,000 planned layoffs last month were down 12.5 percent from July, and 37 percent from a year earlier. Most of the cuts came in telecom and the computer industry.

“Hewlett Packard has gone through heavy layoffs, and is probably the icon of companies in the computer sector cutting jobs,” Challenger said.

Of the current labor market, Challenger says: “Companies are in this period where they’re kind of standing pat with who they have onboard. If you have a job right now, you’re pretty safe. But we’re also, then, not seeing much job creation. They’re not adding a lot of people.”

The government’s August employment report will offer more indications of the pace of job creation.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports