May 19, 2008
Manufacturing industries accounted for 31 percent of private nonfarm extended mass layoff events (343) and 40 percent of related separations (74,453) in the first quarter of 2008.
The largest number of separations was in transportation equipment manufacturing (31,340, mostly associated with automobile manufacturing), followed by food manufacturing (9,478).
The construction sector accounted for 26 percent of events (291) and 16 percent of separations (30,767) during January-March 2008, largely in specialty trade contracting and heavy and civil engineering construction.
Layoffs in the retail trade sector accounted for 8 percent of all extended mass layoff events (89) and 11 percent of separations (21,102) and were concentrated in general merchandise stores.
The total number of layoff events was essentially unchanged from the January-March 2007 time period, while the number of associated separations was lower.
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 first quarter of 2008 are preliminary and subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Extended Mass Layoffs in the First Quarter of 2008," (PDF) (HTML) news release USDL 08-0668.
Note: Effective with this news release, the Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program has switched the basis for their classification from the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to the 2007 NAICS for extended mass layoff data. The new classification includes minor definitional changes within manufacturing; telecommunications; financial activities; and professional, scientific, and technical services. Several industry titles and descriptions also were updated. For more information on the MLS program's change to NAICS 2007, see www.bls.gov/mls/mls2007naics.htm.