February 23, 2005
In the fourth quarter of 2004, 1,295 mass layoff actions were taken by employers in the private nonfarm sector that resulted in the separation of 236,637 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days.
Both the total number of layoff events and the number of separations were sharply lower than in the fourth quarter of 2003, with separations at its lowest level for any fourth quarter since the program began in 1995.
Extended mass layoffs that involve the movement of work within the same company or to a different company, domestically or outside the U.S., occurred in about 11 percent of the nonseasonal layoff events in the fourth quarter of 2004 and accounted for about 14 percent of the worker separations in nonseasonal events.
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 fourth quarter of 2004 are preliminary and subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Extended Mass Layoffs in the Fourth Quarter of 2004 and Annual Averages for 2004" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 05-264. With this release, BLS resumes quarterly publication of data on worker separations specifically associated with the movement of work within the same company or to other companies, domestically or outside the U.S.