April 26, 2004
In March 2004, there were 920 mass layoff actions by employers, 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 92,554.
Both the number of events and initial claims were sharply lower than a year ago and were the lowest for any March since 1999. From January through March 2004, the total numbers of events, at 4,289, and initial claims, at 416,209, were lower than in January-March 2003 (4,885 and 463,421, respectively).
The manufacturing sector had 28 percent of all mass layoff events and 37 percent of all initial claims filed in March. A year ago, manufacturing reported 32 percent of events and 36 percent of initial claims. Within manufacturing, the number of claimants was highest in transportation equipment (13,430, mostly automotive-related), followed by food processing (6,220, mainly in frozen fruits and vegetables).
These data are from the Mass Layoff Statistics program. Mass layoffs data for March 2004 are preliminary and subject to revision. See "Mass Layoffs in March 2004" (PDF) (TXT), USDL 04-720, for more information.