Job cuts in the financial sector soared 103% in the first five months of 2013, rising sharply to 35,091 layoffs from 17,284 during the same period a year earlier.

Consultancy firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas released this data Thursday.

The good news is when looking at the entire employment picture, monthly job cuts plummeted for the third consecutive month in May, with employers slashing 36,398 jobs -- down roughly 4% from the previous report.

With home sales and prices edging up, it's possible consumer confidence could lift in the summer if these trends hold, the outplacement firm said. Either way, researchers with Challenger expect layoffs to "remain muted through the third quarter."

Meanwhile, overall jobless claims in the U.S. declined by 11,000 filings to 346,000 claims from last week's revised number of 357,000, the Department of Labor said.