August 21, 2003
In the second quarter of 2003, 1,894 mass layoff actions were taken by employers that resulted in the separation of 372,426 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days.
Both the total number of layoff events and the number of separations were lower than in April-June 2002 and were the lowest for a second quarter since 2000. The decline from second quarter 2002 was most notable in professional and technical services, agriculture and forestry support activities, and crop production.
Through the first half of 2003, the number of worker separations, at 705,686, and the number of layoff events, at 3,594, were lower than the same period a year ago.
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 second quarter of 2003 are preliminary and subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Extended Mass Layoffs in the Second Quarter of 2003" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 03-438.