Substantial layoffs in 2002

September 04, 2003

In 2002, a total of 262,020 workers were laid off in substantial layoff events. “Substantial layoffs” are extended mass layoffs that either involve 500 or more workers or in which the number of separations is at least one-third of the employment prior to layoff. There were 855 substantial layoff events in 2002.

Substantial layoff separations, selected industries, 2002
[Chart data—TXT]

Comparing industry sectors, manufacturing had the highest number of workers laid off in substantial layoff events—115,637. Substantial layoffs in the manufacturing sector were concentrated in the transportation equipment and computer and electronic products manufacturing industries.

After manufacturing, the administrative and waste services sector, with 33,037 workers laid off, and the construction sector, with 25,773 workers laid off, had the highest numbers of substantial layoff separations. Substantial layoffs in the administrative and waste services sector were primarily in the temporary help industry.

California reported the largest number of worker separations due to substantial layoffs, followed by Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

These data are from the Mass Layoff Statistics program. For more information, see, "Extended Mass Layoffs in 2002," BLS report 971, August 2003 (PDF). "Extended mass layoffs" last more than 30 days and involve 50 or more individuals from a single establishment filing initial claims for unemployment insurance during a consecutive 5-week period.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Substantial layoffs in 2002 on the Internet at (visited September 25, 2016).


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