December 30, 2003
In November 2003, employers initiated 1,438 mass layoff actions, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month. Each action involved at least 50 persons from a single establishment and the number of workers involved totaled 138,543.
The manufacturing sector recorded 35 percent of all mass-layoff initial claims filed in November. Within manufacturing, the number of claimants was highest in transportation equipment and food processing.
Construction accounted for 15 percent of initial claims filed in November, with layoffs mostly in highway, street, and bridge construction. Administrative and waste services accounted for 10 percent of initial claims due to mass layoffs during the month, mainly in temporary help services.
The agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector accounted for 7 percent of the initial claims, largely among farm labor contractors and crew leaders. An additional 5 percent of all initial claims filed during November were from accommodation and food services, primarily among food service contractors.
Overall, the number of layoff events and initial claims were sharply lower than a year ago, with the number of initial claims at the lowest level for November since 1997. (November 2003 contained 4 weeks for possible mass layoffs, compared with 5 weeks in each November of the prior 2 years.)
These data come from the Mass Layoff Statistics program. To learn more, see "Mass Layoffs in November 2003" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 03-917. Data for two industry sectors (management of companies and enterprises, and educational services) do not appear because they do not meet disclosure standards. Industry sectors are defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).