Business Functions and Processes in Extended Mass Layoffs in the Third Quarter 2009
Employers initiated 1,776 extended mass layoff events in the third quarter of 2009 that resulted in
the separation of 277,924 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days, according to preliminary figures released
by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Extended mass layoff events related to nonseasonal
economic reasons totaled 1,518 and involved the separation of 231,223 workers. More complete information on third
quarter 2009 extended mass layoffs can be obtained from the news release
The total number of business functions reported by employers in nonseasonal layoff events in the third quarter was 2,901,
a slight increase from 2,888 business functions a year earlier. This increase of less than 1 percent was lower than the
over-the-year increase in nonseasonal extended mass layoff events (11 percent), indicating fewer activities within firms
were impacted in third quarter 2009 layoff events than a year ago.
Producing goods was cited most often by employers as the main business function—that which involves the most laid-off
workers—involved in third quarter nonseasonal extended mass layoffs. The next most frequently cited main business
functions were construction activities, contracted services, and fabricating. Secondary functions most often reported
by employers for layoff were administrative support, general management, first-line supervision, clerical support,
facility maintenance services, human resources (including recruiting), and customer service.
(See table 1.)
Business processes affected by extended mass layoffs during the third quarter numbered 2,198, up from 2,035 a year
earlier. Over the year, the number of reports increased for three of the five core processes, with product development
and operations experiencing the largest percentage increases. Two of the three support processes involved in layoffs
decreased, with human resource management having the largest percentage decrease.
(See table 2.)
Among the full range of business processes a firm engages in to conduct its business, the most common process affected by
nonseasonal extended mass layoffs in the third quarter 2009 was operations—the process most directly related to the key
activity of the establishment. General management and firm infrastructure and procurement, logistics, and distribution
were the next most frequently reported processes. Compared to the previous year, the number of employers citing cutbacks
in core processes increased, while support processes decreased in both goods-producing and service-providing industries.
(See table 3.)
Last Modified Date: November 24, 2009