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Job losses from mass layoffs rise in 1998

March 30, 1999

U.S. employers conducted 15,647 mass layoff actions during 1998, compared with 14,960 in the previous year. The total number of workers involved, based on new claims filed for unemployment insurance benefits, was more than 1.7 million in 1998, up from about 1.5 million in 1997.

Change in number of initial claimants for unemployment insurance by State, 1998
[Chart data—TXT]

Among the States, California experienced the largest rise in mass-layoff-related initial unemployment insurance claims from December 1997 to December 1998 (9,537). Other states with more workers affected by mass layoff events were South Carolina (7,615) and Texas (5,212). Michigan had the largest over-the-year decline in initial claims due to mass layoff events.

By industry, the largest increases in initial claims occurred in motion pictures (6,827), industrial machinery and equipment (5,301), business services (2,991), and automotive dealers and service stations (2,878). The largest decreases over the year were reported in wholesale trade of durable goods (-1,783), and rubber and miscellaneous plastics products (-1,701).

These data on mass layoff events are produced by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. More information can be found in news release USDL 99-71, "Mass Layoffs in December 1998." Mass layoff events are defined as layoffs of 50 or more workers from a single establishment, regardless of the layoff duration.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Job losses from mass layoffs rise in 1998 on the Internet at (visited September 21, 2014).


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