A prolonged U.S. housing slump is causing a surge in the number of job losses announced by U.S. financial services companies, consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. said on Tuesday.

The financial industry has announced 87,962 job cuts so far this year, 75 percent more than the total of 50,327 in all of 2006. Of this year's cuts, 41 percent related to troubles in the mortgage market, including riskier subprime mortgages, Challenger said. In August alone, there have been 20,957 announced job cuts, including 11,040 since Friday, Challenger said.

Since Friday, Bear Stearns Cos Inc, Capital One Financial Corp, Countrywide Financial Corp and First Magnus Financial Corp have announced 8,640 mortgage-related cuts, Challenger said. Another 2,400 cuts were announced by SunTrust Banks Inc as part of an existing cost-cutting program.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)