May 17, 2007
In the first quarter of 2007, there were 965 mass layoff events that resulted in the separation of 139,269 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days.
The total number of layoff events was essentially unchanged from the January-March 2006 time period, while the number of separations was sharply lower. Over-the-year decreases in separations were largest in general merchandise stores, administrative and support services, and transportation equipment manufacturing.
Extended layoffs in the first quarter of 2007 averaged 144 separations, down significantly from 190 reported in the first quarter of 2006. Much of the decline reflects a reduction in layoffs involving 500 or more workers.
These data are a product of 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 first quarter of 2007 are preliminary and subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Extended Mass Layoffs in the First Quarter of 2007" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 07-0711.
Note: Beginning with data for the first quarter of 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is introducing improvements to the collection and presentation of data on economic reasons for extended mass layoffs. Clearer definitions and titles for many of the current reasons are being used, and four new reasons are being added. Moreover, seven higher-level categories—business demand, disaster/safety, financial, organizational, production, seasonal, and other/miscellaneous—are used to aggregate and report the detailed economic reasons for layoff.