August 13, 2009
In the second quarter of 2009, employers initiated 2,994 mass layoff events that resulted in the separation of workers from their jobs for at least 31 days. The number of these extended mass layoff events was a record high for a second quarter. (Data are available back to 1995).
The 2,994 mass layoff events in the second quarter of 2009 compares with 1,756 a year earlier.
Manufacturing industries were responsible for 31 percent of private nonfarm extended layoff events in the second quarter of 2009; a year earlier, manufacturing made up 22 percent of these events.
Among the seven categories of economic reasons for extended mass layoffs, business demand factors accounted for 45 percent of the events, up from 32 percent a year earlier. Extended mass layoffs stemming from financial issues sharply increased, from 120 events in the second quarter of 2008 to 264 events in the second quarter of 2009.
Thirty-eight percent of employers reporting an extended layoff in the second quarter of 2009 indicated they anticipated some type of recall, down from 51 percent a year earlier and the lowest second quarter proportion on record. The average size of a layoff (as measured by separations per layoff event) in the second quarter of 2009 was 179, compared with 202 per layoff in the second quarter of 2008.
Eighty percent of the initial claimants associated with extended mass layoff events in the second quarter of 2009 resided within metropolitan areas, about the same as a year earlier.
These data are from the Mass Layoff Statistics program. Data for the second quarter of 2009 are preliminary. To learn more, see "Extended Mass Layoffs in the Second Quarter of 2009" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL 09-0934.