February 26, 2008
For all of 2007, employers reported 5,170 extended mass layoff actions, affecting 931,053 workers.
Compared to 2006, the number of events was up from 4,885, but the number of separations was down slightly from 935,969.
In 2007, the annual average national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.6 percent from 2006, while private nonfarm payroll employment increased by 1.1 percent, or 1,310,000 jobs.
Eleven percent of extended events in 2007 were permanent closures, accounting for 124,937 worker separations. Permanent closures were most numerous in the manufacturing sector, primarily in transportation equipment manufacturing, plastics and rubber products, food, and computer and electronic products. When compared with 2006, layoff activity resulting in permanent closures decreased in 2007.
In 2007, employers expected a recall in 49 percent of the mass layoff events, down from 52 percent of events in 2006.
The West reported more workers affected by extended mass layoffs in 2007 than any other region. In the West, food and beverage stores had the largest number of separations followed by credit intermediation and related activities, and specialty trade contractors. The South region reported the lowest annual number of separations.
These data come from the BLS Mass Layoff Statistics program. Learn more in "Extended Mass Layoffs in the Fourth Quarter of 2007 and Annual Totals for 2007," news release USDL 08-0204. Extended mass layoff events consist of 50 or more initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits from an establishment during a 5-week period, with at least 50 workers separated for more than 30 days. Data for 2007 are preliminary.