May 20, 2005
In the first quarter of 2005, 989 mass layoff actions were taken by employers that resulted in the separation of 156,252 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days.
The layoff events were concentrated at the lower end of the size spectrum, but the number of separations was more evenly distributed. Layoffs in the smallest category, 50 to 99 workers, accounted for more than 40 percent of events, but only about 20 percent of workers laid off. Layoffs involving fewer than 150 workers made up 70 percent of layoff events and only 39 percent of all separations.
On the other end of the layoff-size spectrum, separations involving 500 or more workers accounted for about 4 percent of layoff events; however, these layoffs accounted for nearly 23 percent of all separations. In the largest category, 1,000 or more workers, less than 1 percent of layoff events accounted for more than 8 percent of workers separated from their jobs.
These data are from the BLS Mass Layoff Statistics program. More statistics on layoffs and workers separated from their jobs can be found in "Extended Mass Layoffs in the First Quarter of 2005" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 05-873. The quarterly series on extended mass layoffs cover layoffs of at least 31 days’ duration that involve 50 or more individuals from a single workplace filing initial claims for unemployment insurance during a consecutive 5-week period. These data are preliminary and subject to revision.