June 24, 2009
Employers took 2,933 mass layoff actions in May that resulted in the separation of 312,880 workers, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month. The number of mass layoff events matched the peak level from March 2009, with data available back to 1995.
From May 2008 to May 2009, the number of mass layoff events increased by 1,232 and associated initial claims increased by 132,322.
In May 2009, 1,331 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted, resulting in 165,802 initial claims. Over the year, manufacturing events and initial claims more than doubled.
During the 18 months from December 2007 through May 2009, the total number of mass layoff events was 37,059, and the number of initial claims was 3,811,307. (December 2007 was the start of a recession as designated by the National Bureau of Economic Research.)
These data are from the Mass Layoff Statistics program and are seasonally adjusted. Each mass layoff action involved at least 50 persons from a single employer. To learn more, see "Mass Layoffs in May 2009" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL 09-0703.