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Mass Layoff Statistics

Business Functions and Processes in Extended Mass Layoffs in the Second Quarter 2011

Employers initiated 1,624 extended mass layoff events in the second quarter of 2011 that resulted in the separation of 261,346 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 932 and involved the separation of 128,007 workers. More complete information on second quarter 2011 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 second quarter was 1,753, a decrease from 1,941 business functions a year earlier. This decrease of 10 percent was lower than the 23 percent over-the-year decrease in nonseasonal extended mass layoff events, meaning more functions on average were involved in each extended mass layoff event 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 second quarter nonseasonal extended mass layoffs. Secondary functions most often reported by employers for layoff were general management, administrative and clerical support, and first-line supervision. (See table 1.)

Business processes affected by all extended mass layoffs during the second quarter numbered 2,118, down from 2,444 a year earlier. Over the year, the number of reports decreased in 3 of the 6 core processes. All three support processes involved in layoffs also decreased. In the second quarter of 2011, the largest number of processes per event occurred in layoffs due to financial issues and organizational changes. (See table 2.)

The most common process affected by nonseasonal extended mass layoffs in the second quarter of 2011 was operations—the process most directly related to the key activity of the establishment. Support processes involved in nonseasonal extended mass layoffs declined by 39 percent in goods-producing industries and by 15 percent in service-providing industries. (See table 3.)


Last Modified Date: August 17, 2011