Mass layoffs, October 2008

November 24, 2008

In October, employers took 2,140 mass layoff actions, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month. The number of mass layoff events decreased by 129 from the prior month.

Mass layoff events, seasonally adjusted, January 2001-October 2008
[Chart data—TXT]

Layoff events reached their highest October level since 2001, a month that experienced continued layoff activity from the September 11 attacks.

In October, 635 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted; over the month, mass layoff events in manufacturing increased by 32, the third consecutive over-the-month increase.

Each action involved at least 50 persons from a single employer; the number of workers involved totaled 232,468, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

From January through October 2008, the total number of events, at 16,951, and initial claims, at 1,742,914, were the highest for the January-October period since 2002.

These data are from the Mass Layoff Statistics program and are seasonally adjusted. To learn more, see "Mass Layoffs in October 2008," (PDF) (HTML) news release USDL 08-1717.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Mass layoffs, October 2008 on the Internet at (visited September 25, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.