May 18, 2001
In the first quarter of 2001, there were 1,664 mass layoff actions by employers that resulted in the separation of 305,227 workers from their jobs for more than 30 days. Both the total number of layoff events and the number of separations were the highest for any first quarter since the BLS program that tabulates mass layoffs began in the second quarter of 1995.
Layoffs due to internal company restructuring accounted for 24 percent of events and resulted in 100,943 separations, the highest first quarter on record. The completion of seasonal work accounted for 24 percent of all events and resulted in 69,694 separations, the lowest first quarter on record.
Permanent closure of worksites occurred in 16 percent of all events and affected 78,838 workers, up from 44,472 workers in the first quarter of 2000, and were concentrated in general merchandise stores.
These data are a product of the Mass Layoff Statistics program. "Extended mass layoffs" last more than 30 days and involve 50 or more individuals from a single establishment filing initial claims for unemployment insurance during a consecutive 5-week period. Additional information is available in "Extended Mass Layoffs in the First Quarter of 2001", news release USDL 01-147.