October 23, 2008
In September, employers took 2,269 mass layoff actions, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month. The number of mass layoff events this September increased by 497 from the prior month.
Layoff events reached their highest level since September 2001, a month that experienced substantial layoff activity due to the September 11 attacks. The effects of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike contributed to the higher September 2008 layoff activity.
Each mass layoff action involved at least 50 persons from a single employer; in September 2008, the number of workers involved totaled 235,681. Mass layoff initial claims reached their highest level since September 2005, which was a month with high layoff activity due to Hurricane Katrina.
From January through September 2008, the total number of events, at 14,811, and initial claims, at 1,510,446, were the highest for the January-September period since 2003 and 2002, respectively.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Mass layoff actions in September 2008 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2008/oct/wk3/art04.htm (visited December 18, 2014).
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