November 18, 2008
A total of 218,158 workers experienced separation from their jobs for at least 31 days during the third quarter of 2008. Among the seven categories of economic reasons for layoff, business demand accounted for the largest number of separations — 76,979.
Seasonal events were reported as the reason for 38,742 separations; financial issues, 32,812.
The largest over-the-year increases in the number of separations occurred in layoffs attributed to business demand factors and organizational changes; within business demand, the number of separations due to slack work nearly doubled.
Within financial issues, the number of workers terminated because of bankruptcies nearly doubled over the year to 12,156.
Permanent closure of worksites (which could be due to any reason) affected 50,025 workers during the third quarter of 2008.
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. These data are preliminary. To learn more, see "Extended Mass Layoffs in the Third Quarter of 2008," (PDF) (HTML) news release USDL 08-1669.