January 27, 2012
For all of 2011, the total numbers of mass layoff events, at 18,521, and initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, at 1,808,451, declined to their lowest levels since 2007. In 2010, there were 19,564 mass layoff events and 1,854,596 initial claims.
Over the 1996 to 2011 period, the number of mass layoff events has ranged from a low of 13,998 (in 2006) to a high of 28,030 (in 2009), while the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits has ranged from 1,437,628 (in 1996) and 2,796,456 (also in 2009). (Annual data began in 1996.)
Among the states, California recorded the highest number of mass layoff initial claims in 2011, followed by Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, and Wisconsin. Twenty-nine states experienced over-the-year decreases in total initial claims for the year, led by California, Illinois, and Florida.
In the private economy, 12 of the 19 major industry sectors reported over-the-year decreases in initial claims in 2011, led by manufacturing, construction, and retail trade.
These data are from the Mass Layoff Statistics program. To learn more, see "Mass Layoffs — December 2011; Annual Totals — 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-0093. Each mass layoff action involved at least 50 persons from a single employer.