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Economic News Release
MLS MLS Program Links

Mass Layoffs Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Monday, May 13, 2013                               USDL-13-0926

Technical information:  (202) 691-6392  *  *
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  *

                      EXTENDED MASS LAYOFFS -- FIRST QUARTER 2013

Employers in the private nonfarm sector initiated 914 mass layoff events in the first
quarter of 2013 that resulted in the separation of 154,374 workers from their jobs for
at least 31 days, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the year,
total extended mass layoff events and associated worker separations were down from
1,294 and 246,956, respectively. Total events and separations both fell to their lowest
first quarter levels on record (with first quarter data available back to 1996). (See
table A.) First quarter 2013 layoff data are preliminary and are subject to revision.
(See the Technical Note.)

Industry Distribution of Extended Layoffs

Manufacturing industries had 184 extended mass layoff events and 30,870 separations in
the first quarter of 2013, due to both insufficient demand and the completion of seasonal
work. Total events and separations in this sector declined to their lowest levels in
program history (with quarterly data available back to 1995). (See table 1.)

During the quarter, the construction sector had 178 extended mass layoff events and
20,071 separations, largely due to contract completion. The administrative and waste
services sector reported 143 layoff events and 23,284 separations. (See table 1.)

  |                                                                                      |
  |                           Mass Layoffs Data Discontinued                             |
  |                                                                                      |
  |On March 1, 2013, President Obama ordered into effect the across-the-board spending   |
  |cuts (commonly referred to as sequestration) required by the Balanced Budget and      |
  |Emergency Deficit Control Act, as amended. Under the order, the Bureau of Labor       |
  |Statistics (BLS) must cut its current budget by more than $30 million, 5 percent of   |
  |the current 2013 appropriation, by September 30, 2013. In order to help achieve these |
  |savings and protect core programs, the BLS will eliminate two programs, including     |
  |Mass Layoff Statistics, and all "measuring green jobs" products. This news release is |
  |the final publication of quarterly extended mass layoff survey data. The final release|
  |of monthly Mass Layoff Statistics data will occur on June 21st, with publication of   |
  |the May 2013 data.                                                                    |

Reasons for Extended Layoffs

Business demand factors, primarily contract completion, accounted for 39 percent of
extended mass layoff events and 42 percent of related separations in the private nonfarm
sector during the first quarter of 2013. Layoffs due to the completion of seasonal work
accounted for 28 percent of events and 27 percent of separations during the quarter.
(See table 2.)

Movement of Work

In the first quarter of 2013, 21 extended mass layoff events involved movement of work and
were associated with 3,421 worker separations, a program low for both figures (movement of
work data begin in first quarter 2004). Layoffs involving the movement of work accounted
for only 3 percent of all nonseasonal layoff events. Eleven of the events related to
movement of work were from manufacturing industries. Employers cited organizational
changes as the economic reason for layoff in 9 of the 21 events involving movement of
work. Among workers affected by the movement of work, the largest proportion was in the
Midwest. (See tables 6-8.)

The 21 events with movement of work for the first quarter involved 30 identifiable
relocations of work actions. (See table 9.) Employers were able to provide information
on the specific number of worker separations for 19 of these actions. Among these actions,
the majority were domestic reassignments and involved work moving within the same company.
(See table 10.)

Table A. Selected measures of extended mass layoff activity

     Period                  Layoff events       Separations     Initial claimants


January-March ..........          3,979            705,141            835,551
April-June .............          3,395            651,318            731,049
July-September .........          2,034            345,531            406,823
October-December .......          2,416            406,212            468,577


January-March ..........          1,870            314,512            368,664
April-June .............          2,008            381,622            396,441
July-September .........          1,370            222,357            260,077
October-December .......          1,999            338,643            390,584


January-March ..........          1,490            225,456            258,220
April-June .............          1,810            317,546            342,530
July-September .........          1,393            235,325            291,066
October-December .......          1,903            334,383            403,457


January-March ..........          1,294            246,956            291,174
April-June (r) .........          1,959            385,983            383,492
July-September (r) .....          1,124            199,781            228,818
October-December (r) ...          2,123            424,492            432,792


January-March (p) ......            914            154,374            133,294

   r = revised.
   p = preliminary.

Recall Expectations

Permanent worksite closures accounted for 10 percent of the total extended mass layoff
events and separations reported during the first quarter of 2013, primarily in the
manufacturing and retail sectors. Conversely, 49 percent of the private nonfarm
employers reporting a layoff event not involving a closure expected to recall at least
some of the workers displaced during the quarter. Of those employers anticipating a
recall, 18 percent indicated the offer would be extended to all displaced workers and
57 percent anticipated extending the offer to at least half of the employees. Among
those employers expecting to recall laid-off workers, 56 percent intend to do so within
6 months. Excluding extended mass layoff events due to seasonal work and vacation period,
employers anticipated recalling  the laid-off workers in 36 percent of the events. (See
table 11.)

Size of Extended Layoffs

The average size of a layoff (as measured by the number of separations per layoff event)
was 169 workers during the first quarter of 2013. (See table 12.) Events were largely
concentrated at the lower end of the extended layoff-size spectrum, with 71 percent
involving fewer than 150 workers. Conversely, only 4 percent of layoff events involved
500 or more workers. (See table 13.)

Initial Claimant Characteristics

A total of 133,294 initial claimants for unemployment insurance were associated with
extended mass layoffs in the first quarter of 2013, the fewest claimants reported for
any first quarter on record (data are available back to 1996). Of these claimants,
14 percent were black, 21 percent were Hispanic, 37 percent were women, and 20 percent
were 55 years of age or older. (See table 3.) In the entire civilian labor force for the
same period, 12 percent of all persons were black, 16 percent were Hispanic, 47 percent
were women, and 21 percent were 55 years of age or older.

Table B. Metropolitan areas with the largest number of initial claimants associated with
extended mass layoff events in the first quarter 2013, by residency of claimants

                                                     2012 I (r)            2013 I (p)    

            Metropolitan area                    Initial                Initial          
                                                claimants     Rank     claimants   Rank  
        Total, 372 metropolitan areas ........   253,522                112,634          

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif. .....    76,620        1        27,042       1  
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long                                                        
    Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. ....................    15,081        3         8,693       2  
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. .....    16,549        2         6,562       3  
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. ....     7,782        5         5,513       4  
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. ........    12,276        4         3,011       5  
Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. .....................     2,598       15         2,515       6  
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif. ........     7,684        6         2,392       7  
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. ...............     2,351       18         1,952       8  
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.                                                      
    -N.J.-Del.-Md. ...........................     3,192       11         1,488       9  
Fresno, Calif. ...............................     2,597       16         1,483      10  
   r = revised.
   p = preliminary.
   NOTE: The geographic boundaries of the metropolitan areas shown in this table are
defined in Office of Management and Budget Bulletin 10-02, December 1, 2009.

Geographic Distribution

Among the four census regions, the West had the highest number of extended mass layoff
events in the first quarter of 2013, primarily in the administrative and support services
sector. Among the nine census divisions, the highest number of extended mass layoff
events was in the Pacific. (See table 4.)

California had the largest number of extended mass layoff events in the first quarter
of 2013, followed by New York, Illinois, and Ohio. Excluding layoff activity due to
seasonal work and vacation period reasons, California, New York, and Illinois reported
the largest numbers of events. (See table 5.)

Eighty-five percent of the initial claimants for unemployment insurance associated with
extended mass layoff events in the first quarter resided within metropolitan areas. Among
the 372 metropolitan areas, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif., had the highest
number of resident initial claimants. (See table B.)


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. Approximately 30 days after a
mass layoff is triggered, the employer is contacted for additional information.  Data for
the current quarter are preliminary and subject to revision. This release also includes
revised data for previous quarters. Data are not seasonally adjusted, but survey data
suggest that there is a seasonal pattern to layoffs. Thus, comparisons between consecutive
quarters should not be used as an indicator of trend. For additional information about the
program, see the Technical Note.

The Mass Layoffs news release for April 2013 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday,
May 22, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

The PDF version of the news release

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Last Modified Date: May 13, 2013