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Mass Layoff Statistics

Impact of the Events of September 11, 2001, on the Mass Layoff Statistics Data Series

  • The events of September 11, 2001 resulted in a tragic loss of life, together with significant disruptions to the affected local economies and secondary disruptions to economies outside of the directly impacted areas. The labor market impacts of these events began to register in the Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program with the reporting of data for the month of September.
  • The impact of the disasters on published MLS data are registered where the layoff events occur (the locations of the establishments).
  • In the 18 weeks following the September 11 attacks (the weeks ending September 15 through January 12), employers reported 430 events involving 125,637 workers separated as a direct or indirect effect of the attacks. A majority of the layoff events took place in the weeks immediately following the attacks, and the number of new events has tapered off since then. Thirty-three states reported extended mass layoff activity related to the September 11 incidents. However, 55 percent of these events and 61 percent of the associated separations occurred in just six states—California, Nevada, Illinois, New York, Texas. Among the workers laid off because of the terrorist attacks, 36 percent, or 44,861 workers, had been employed in the scheduled passenger air transportation industry. An additional 26 percent, or 32,803 workers had been employed in hotels and motels. Thirty-two percent of the employers reporting extended mass layoffs related to the attacks indicated they anticipated some type of recall. (See Mass Layoffs in January 2002, issued February 28).
  • The data on "extended mass layoffs" involve 50 or more workers who lose their jobs for more than 30 days and are reported to BLS and published quarterly in the Extended Mass Layoffs release. Approximately 30 days after a mass layoff triggers at an establishment, the employer is contacted for information on whether the layoff lasted for more than 30 days, the actual number of people laid off, the reason for the layoff, and the possible recall of workers. After the events of September 11, BLS added a new code for reason for the layoff, "non-natural disaster," which allows for identification of workers separated from companies as a direct or indirect effect of situations such as the September 11 attacks. In addition, BLS instituted interim reporting to provide a more timely and complete picture of extended layoff events associated with the September 11 attacks.


Last Modified Date: March 01, 2002