Employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas released a survey Wednesday, revealing an 85% surge in layoffs, from 42,897 in July to 79,459 in August.
The firm said roughly half of the August job cuts emerged from the financial sector as scores of subprime lenders were forced out of the industry amid the housing market bust.
Financial job cuts totaled 35,752 in August, the highest monthly total since the firm began tracking such data in 1993.
It is believed that the fall of American Home Mortgage was the leader in layoffs for the financial sector in August.
Layoffs were up 22% from year-ago levels in August, when they totaled 65,278.
Many feel September could be worse, with reports that Countrywide is planning to layoff 10,000 workers and many other small lenders on the brink of bankruptcy.
See the comprehensive list of mortgage layoffs.