Latest data released by Challenger, Gray, and Christmas Inc

Job cuts by US-based employers fell in August compared to July, but the cumulative count this year sees total layoffs hit 1.963 million - surpassing the previous annual all-time high in 2001 of 1.957 million layoffs.

Airlines led job cuts last month, as the virus pandemic continues to weigh on the travel sector but also as financial assistance from the government lapses. Challenger notes:

"The leading sector for job cuts last month was transportation, as airlines begin to make staffing decisions in the wake of decreased travel and uncertain federal intervention. An increasing number of companies that initially had temporary job cuts or furloughs are now making them permanent."

The last line in particular is the most concerning part for the jobs market - not just in the US, but everywhere - and will temper with the supposed recovery phase.