Extended mass layoffs, third quarter 2009

November 13, 2009

Employers initiated 1,776 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. In the third quarter of 2008, mass layoff events numbered 1,581, and separations, 290,453.

Extended mass layoff events and separations, first quarter 2005–third quarter 2009
[Chart data]

The number of extended mass layoff events in the third quarter of 2009 reached a record high for any third quarter (with data available back to 1995). Third quarter program highs in the number of events were also recorded in 2 of the 4 geographic regions, 4 of the 9 divisions, and 15 states. There were 9 of the 18 major industry sectors that reported third quarter program highs in 2009 in terms of the number of extended mass layoff events in the private nonfarm sector.

The average size of a layoff (as measured by separations per layoff event) in the third quarter of 2009 was 156, down 28 from the third quarter a year earlier.

These data are from the Mass Layoff Statistics program. Data for the most recent quarter are preliminary. See "Extended Mass Layoffs — Third Quarter of 2009" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL 09-1358, to learn more. The quarterly series on extended mass layoffs cover layoffs of at least 31-days duration that involve 50 or more individuals from a single employer filing initial claims for unemployment insurance during a consecutive 5-week period.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Extended mass layoffs, third quarter 2009 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2009/ted_20091113.htm (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.