March 25, 2004
In February 2004, there were 941 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 84,201.
The number of events was the lowest for any February since 1997, and the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance was the lowest for any February since 1998. Both the number of events and initial claims were sharply lower than a year ago.
The manufacturing sector had 26 percent of all mass layoff events and 27 percent of all initial claims filed in February, both being the smallest shares for any February since the mass layoffs statistics program began in April 1995. A year ago, manufacturing reported 32 percent of events and 39 percent of initial claims.
These data are from the Mass Layoff Statistics program. Mass layoffs data for February 2004 are preliminary and subject to revision. See "Mass Layoffs in February 2004" (PDF) (TXT), USDL 04-459, for more information.