May 16, 2011
Employers initiated 1,393 mass layoff events in the first quarter of 2011 that resulted in the separation of 190,389 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days. For six consecutive quarters there have been over-the-year decreases in both extended mass layoff events and separations.
The manufacturing and retail trade sectors experienced the largest declines in the numbers of worker separations over the year. From the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011, the number of worker separations in manufacturing fell from 60,855 to a series low 37,249.
In retail trade, the number of separations from the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011 fell from 53,090 to 25,074.
The average size of a layoff (as measured by the number of separations per layoff event) fell to a series low 137 workers during the first quarter of 2011. Forty-nine percent of employers expected to recall at least some laid-off workers, the highest first quarter percentage since 2005 and up from 38 percent in 2010.
These data are from the Mass Layoff Statistics program. First quarter 2011 layoff data are preliminary and are subject to revision. To learn more, see "Extended Mass Layoffs – First Quarter 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-0678. The quarterly series on extended mass layoffs cover layoffs of at least 31-days duration that involve 50 or more individuals from a single employer filing initial claims for unemployment insurance during a consecutive 5-week period.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Extended mass layoffs, first quarter 2011 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2011/ted_20110516.htm (visited March 27, 2015).
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