May 17, 2002
In the first quarter of 2002, employers reported 1,669 extended mass layoff actions that resulted in the separation of 301,181 workers from their jobs.
Reversing the trend of the previous five quarters, both the total number of layoff events and the number of separations were lower than in the same quarter a year earlier.
Lack of demand for employers' products and services (slack work) was the major reason cited for extended mass layoffs in the first quarter, accounting for 25 percent of all events and 58,931 separations. The number of seasonal layoff events was at its lowest first-quarter level since the program began in 1995. Seasonal layoffs accounted for 21 percent of both events and separations in the first quarter.
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. Data for the first quarter of 2002 are preliminary and subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Extended Mass Layoffs in the First Quarter of 2002", (PDF) (TXT) news release USDL 02-291.