The big job cuts come at a time when the employment picture in corporate America seems to finally be improving. Many companies were reluctant to hire after laying off heavily in the wake of the recession, but there had been signs lately that the trend was easing.
Employers added 1.4 million jobs in the first half of the year for the strongest six months of job growth since 2006.
The July jobs report is due Friday, and economists surveyed by CNNMoney expect that 230,000 jobs were added last month.
Breaking down the strong June jobs report
And with an unemployment rate at 6.1%, the job market is now near what the Federal Reserve considers full employment.