October 24, 2003
Employers initiated 868 mass layoff actions in September 2003, 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 82,647.
With fewer layoffs in long distance freight trucking, temporary help services, and department stores compared with September 2002, the number of layoff events and the number of initial claims were down sharply, falling to their lowest levels for September since 1999. From January through September 2003, the total number of events, at 14,073, and the number of initial claims, at 1,399,510, were lower than the January-September period a year ago.
The manufacturing sector recorded 31 percent of all mass layoff events and 38 percent of all initial claims filed in September. Within manufacturing, the number of claimants was highest in transportation equipment (4,825), computer and electronic products (4,820), food manufacturing (4,145), and textile mills (3,510).
These data are from the Mass Layoff Statistics program. Data for September 2003 are preliminary and subject to revision. For more information, see news release, "Mass Layoffs in September 2003," USDL 03-563.