November 14, 2002
In the third quarter of 2002, 1,309 mass layoff actions were taken by employers that resulted in the separation of 284,154 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days.
For the third consecutive quarter, both the total number of layoff events and the number of separations were lower than in the same quarter a year earlier. The decline from third quarter 2001 was most notable in air transportation and in hotels and motels. For the first three quarters of 2002, the number of worker separations totaled 1,050,546, down from 1,209,243 during the same period in 2001.
Layoffs due to internal company restructuring accounted for 29 percent of events and resulted in 89,071 separations, the highest for a third quarter on record. The completion of seasonal work accounted for 23 percent of all events and 84,499 separations.
These data are from 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 third quarter of 2002 are preliminary and subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Extended Mass Layoffs in the Third Quarter of 2002" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 02-627.