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Mass Layoff Statistics

Business Functions and Processes in Extended Mass Layoffs in the First Quarter 2010

Employers initiated 1,564 extended mass layoff events in the first quarter of 2010 that resulted in the separation of 221,150 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 1,166 and involved the separation of 160,712 workers. More complete information on first quarter 2010 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 first quarter was 2,266, a decrease from 7,701 business functions a year earlier. This decrease of 71 percent was slightly larger than the 68 percent over-the-year decrease in nonseasonal extended mass layoff events, suggesting that fewer functions were involved in extended mass layoff activity than a year ago.

Construction activities and producing goods were cited most often by employers as the main business function—that which involves the most laid-off workers—involved in first quarter nonseasonal extended mass layoffs. Secondary functions most often reported by employers for layoff were administrative and clerical support, general management, and first-line supervision. (See table 1.)

Business processes affected by extended mass layoffs during the first quarter numbered 1,958, down from 5,234 a year earlier. Over the year, the number of reports decreased for all five core processes that have data available for the previous year. (Data for strategic management is only available beginning with first quarter 2010 data.) The largest percentage decreases occurred in product development and in marketing, sales, and account management. All three support processes involved in layoffs also decreased, with technology and process development having the largest percentage decrease. In the first quarter of 2010, more processes were reported per event in layoffs due to disaster/safety reasons and to financial issues. (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 first quarter 2009 was operations—the process most directly related to the key activity of the establishment. The next most frequently cited business processes were general management and firm infrastructure, and procurement, logistics, and distribution. Support processes among goods-producing industries declined by 77 percent, more than the 67-percent decrease registered in service-providing industries. (See table 3.)


Last Modified Date: May 28, 2010