Displaced Workers Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, August 28, 2018                        USDL-18-1370

Technical information: (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                                WORKER DISPLACEMENT: 2015-17


From January 2015 through December 2017, there were 3.0 million workers displaced from
jobs they had held for at least 3 years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
today. This was down slightly from 3.2 million workers for the prior survey period
covering January 2013 to December 2015. In January 2018, 66 percent of workers displaced
from 2015 to 2017 were reemployed, little different from the reemployment rate for
January 2016.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Chief Evaluation Office sponsored the January 2018 survey
to collect information on workers who were displaced from their jobs. Since 1984, these
surveys have been conducted biennially in January as supplements to the Current Population
Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of households that is the primary source of information on
the nation's labor force.

Displaced workers are defined as persons 20 years of age and over who lost or left jobs
because their plant or company closed or moved, there was insufficient work for them
to do, or their position or shift was abolished. The period covered in this study was
2015-17, the 3 calendar years prior to the January 2018 survey date. This period was
characterized by employment growth and declining unemployment. The following analysis
focuses primarily on the 3.0 million persons who had worked for their employer for 3
or more years at the time of displacement (referred to as long-tenured workers). An
additional 3.8 million persons were displaced from jobs they had held for less than
3 years (referred to as short-tenured workers). Combining the short- and long-tenured
groups, the number of displaced workers totaled 6.8 million from 2015 to 2017. This is
down from 7.4 million for the 2013-15 survey period.

Highlights from the January 2018 survey:

   --In January 2018, 66 percent of the 3.0 million long-tenured displaced workers
     were reemployed, little different than in January 2016. (See table 1.)

   --Thirty-seven percent of long-tenured displaced workers from the 2015-17 period
     cited that they lost their job because their plant or company closed down or
     moved; an additional 37 percent said that their position or shift was abolished,
     and 26 percent cited insufficient work. (See table 2.)

   --Sixteen percent of long-tenured displaced workers lost a job in manufacturing.
     (See table 4.)

   --Among long-tenured workers who were displaced from full-time wage and salary
     jobs and were reemployed in such jobs in January 2018, 51 percent had earnings
     that were as much or greater than those of their lost job, similar to the prior
     survey. (See table 7.)

Characteristics of the Displaced

Sixty-six percent of the 3.0 million long-tenured displaced workers were reemployed at
the time of the survey in January 2018, little different from the January 2016 survey.
The proportion unemployed at the time of the most recent survey was 14 percent, also
little different from January 2016. Nineteen percent of long-tenured displaced workers
were not in the labor force in January 2018, essentially unchanged from the previous
survey. (See table 1.)

In January 2018, the reemployment rate was 76 percent for workers ages 25 to 54, up
slightly from the prior survey. Reemployment rates continued to be lower for older
workers; the rates for those ages 55 to 64 and 65 years and over were 60 percent and
31 percent, respectively. Among those age 65 and over, 57 percent were no longer in
the labor force when surveyed, little different from the prior survey.

Among long-tenured displaced workers, men and women had similar reemployment rates in
January 2018 (67 percent and 65 percent, respectively). The reemployment rates for men
and women changed little from the prior survey. Long-tenured displaced men and women
were about equally likely to be unemployed at the time of the survey (15 percent and
14 percent, respectively). The share of male displaced workers who had left the labor
force remained at 18 percent, and the share of women was little changed at 21 percent.

In January 2018, the reemployment rate for long-tenured displaced Asian workers rose
to 70 percent. The rates for Hispanics (69 percent), Blacks (66 percent), and Whites
(65 percent) changed little from the prior survey.

Reason for Job Loss and Receipt of Advance Notice

Of the 3.0 million long-tenured workers displaced during the January 2015 through
December 2017 period, 37 percent lost or left their jobs due to plant or company
closings or moves. The proportion of displaced workers citing that their position or
shift was abolished was also 37 percent, and the proportion citing insufficient work
was 26 percent. (See table 2.)

Forty-three percent of long-tenured displaced workers in the January 2018 survey
received written advance notice that their jobs would be terminated, little changed
from the January 2016 survey. Workers who lost jobs during the 2015-17 period due
to plant or company closings or moves continued to be most likely to receive written
advance notice. Of this group, 58 percent received such notice. In contrast, 39
percent of workers who were displaced because their position or shift was abolished
and 26 percent of those who lost jobs due to insufficient work were notified in
advance. For each of these groups, reemployment rates were not statistically different
for those who received written advanced notice and those who did not. (See table 3.)

Industry and Occupation

During the 2015-17 period, 479,000 long-tenured manufacturing workers were displaced
from their jobs--16 percent of all long-tenured displaced workers. Manufacturing
displacements occurred mostly in the durable goods industry (313,000). Workers in
professional and business services accounted for 15 percent of all long-tenured
displacements, while retail trade accounted for 12 percent of displacements, as did
education and health services. (See table 4.)

For most major industry groups, in January 2018 reemployment rates were not statistically
different from January 2016. The reemployment rate for workers displaced from the
information industry, however, declined from the prior survey, making them the least
likely to be reemployed in January 2018 (47 percent). Workers displaced from the health
care and social assistance industry were most likely to be reemployed, at 81 percent.
(Workers were not necessarily reemployed in the same industries from which they were
displaced.)

For the major occupation groups, the reemployment rates changed little from the prior
survey. The January 2018 reemployment rates were 72 percent for those displaced from
management, professional, and related occupations; 71 percent for production,
transportation and material moving occupations; 64 percent for service occupations;
62 percent for sales and office occupations; and 60 percent for natural resources,
construction, and maintenance occupations. (See table 5.)

Geographic Divisions

The number of long-tenured workers displaced during the 2015-17 period changed little
from the 2013-15 period in most of the geographic divisions of the United States. In
January 2018, the reemployment rates increased to 73 percent for the East South Central
division and 68 percent for Middle Atlantic division. The rate fell to 62 percent for
the Mountain division. (See table 6.) 

Earnings

Of the 1.8 million long-tenured displaced workers who lost full-time wage and salary jobs
during the 2015-17 period and were reemployed in January 2018, 1.4 million had full-time
wage and salary jobs in January 2018. Of these reemployed full-time workers who reported
earnings on their lost job, the proportion that were earning as much or more than they did
at their lost job was 51 percent in January 2018, little different from the January 2016
survey. (See table 7.)

Total Displaced Workers (With No Tenure Restriction)

The total number of workers displaced between January 2015 and December 2017 (regardless
of how long they had held their jobs) was 6.8 million, down by 615,000 from the 2013-15
survey period. Of the total number of workers who lost jobs over the 2015-17 period,
68 percent were reemployed and 16 percent were unemployed in January 2018; both little
different from the prior survey. (See table 8.)



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Last Modified Date: August 28, 2018