The number of mass layoffs edged down in July, with the healthcare and defense sectors posting the most cuts, Reuters explains in a new article.

Employers announced 37,701 layoffs last month, a 4.2% drop from 39,372 cuts in June, according to research firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Still, July job cuts grew 2.3% when compared to year ago levels.

In the first seven months of the year, employers slashed 296,633 positions, down from 319,946 during the same period of 2012.