Layoffs Up 34.5% for First Three Quarters: U.S. companies said last month that they planned to cut 48,786 jobs, bringing the number of jobs earmarked for cutting to 449,364 for the first nine months of the year, according to the new monthly Challenger Employment Report. The year-to-date total was 334,185 for the same period in 1991, said the report, compiled by Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an international outplacement company. The report does not include comparable figures for 1992. Layoffs announced last month averaged 2,323 per business day, up from 2,135 in August, according to the Challenger Report. September's total is the third-highest this year, it said.