New York-New Jersey Information Office

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12–506–NEW

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

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  • Martin Kohli (646) 264-3620

Mass Layoffs in Jersey – 2011 Annual Totals

Employers in New Jersey took 585 mass layoff actions in 2011 that resulted in the separation of 66,811 workers, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1.) Each action involved at least 50 persons from a single employer. Acting Regional Commissioner Joyce A. Sweeney pointed out that the number of claims rose by 5,413 over the year to reach the second highest total in the history of the series, which goes back to 1996 on an annual basis.

Chart 1. Mass layoff initial claims, New Jersey, annual totals, 2006-11

Industry distribution

Of all the industry sectors in New Jersey, transportation and warehousing experienced the most mass layoff events with 128, resulting in 12,432 claims for unemployment insurance. (See table 1. and chart 1.) Accommodation and food services had the next highest number of layoff events, 84, but the industry had the largest count of initial claimants, 15,435, which accounted for 23.1 percent of the state's total. Retail trade and manufacturing rounded out the top four sectors, with 73 and 70 events, respectively; each registered more than 6,000 claims. Information and administrative and waste services were the only other sectors to have more than 5,000 initial claims.

Information experienced the largest increase in mass layoff-related initial claims (4,647), reaching a program high in 2011. Transportation and warehousing posted the next highest increase (1,370), while four other sectors finished the year with at least 750 more initial claimants above the 2010 level. All six of these industries had posted declines from 2009 to 2010, but only information added enough claims to offset its 2009-10 reduction. (See table A.) In retail trade, the number of claimants rose to the second-highest total in the history of the series.

Table A. Sectors with at least 750 more mass layoff initial claims in 2011, New Jersey
Sector Net change
2009-10 2010-11

Information

-1,151 4,647

Transportation and warehousing

-1,413 1,370

Administrative and waste services

-1,518 919

Manufacturing

-3,987 816

Retail trade

-1,386 815

Construction

-863 759
In contrast, four sectors saw a decrease in the number of initial claims associated with mass layoff events, led by local government, down 3,781 or 47.2 percent, and accommodation and food services, down 341 or 2.2 percent. Despite declines, numbers of claimants in both of these industries in 2011 was the second highest for the 16 years data are available.

Among the states, California recorded the greatest number of initial claims, 377,413, in 2011. Pennsylvania (124,838) ranked second, followed by New York (119,398) and Florida (79,766). Twenty-nine states experienced over-the-year declines in total initial claims for the year. Seven states recorded a decline of at least 5,000, with the largest reduction in claims occurring in California (-42,396) and Illinois (-19,191). Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia had more initial claims related to mass layoffs in 2011 than in 2010, with New Jersey among the seven states where the claimant count grew by more than 5,000. In two of these states, Arkansas and North Carolina, the number of claimants reached a series high; and in two others, Mississippi and New Jersey, the number of claimants increased to the second-highest level on record.

Technical note

The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program is a federal-state program that uses a standardized automated approach to identifying, describing, and tracking the effects of major job cutbacks, using data from each state's unemployment insurance database. Each month, states report on employers which have at least 50 initial claims filed against them during a consecutive 5-week period. These employers then are contacted by the state agency to determine whether these separations lasted 31 days or longer, and, if so, other information concerning the layoff is collected. States report on layoffs lasting more than 1 month on a quarterly basis.

A given month contains an aggregation of the weekly unemployment insurance claims filings for the Sunday through Saturday weeks in that month. All weeks are included for the particular month, except if the first day of the month falls on Saturday. In this case, the week is included in the prior month's tabulations. This means that some months will contain 4 weeks and others, 5 weeks. The number of weeks in a given month may be different from year to year, and the number of weeks in a year may vary. Therefore, analysis of over-the-month and over-the-year change in not seasonally adjusted series should take this calendar effect into consideration.

The MLS program resumed operations in April 1995 after it had been terminated in November 1992 due to lack of funding. Prior to April 1995, monthly layoff statistics were not available.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Definitions

Employer. Employers in the MLS program include those covered by state unemployment insurance laws. Information on employers is obtained from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, which is administered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Industry. Employers are classified according to the 2007 version of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). For temporary help and professional employer organization industries, monthly MLS-related statistics generally reflect layoffs related to underlying client companies in other industries. An individual layoff action at a client company can be small, but when initial claimants associated with many such layoffs are assigned to a temporary help or professional employer organization firm, a mass layoff event may trigger.

Initial claimant. A person who files any notice of unemployment to initiate a request either for a determination of entitlement to and eligibility for compensation, or for a subsequent period of unemployment within a benefit year or period of eligibility.

Mass layoff event. Fifty or more initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits filed against an employer during a 5-week period, regardless of duration.

Table 1. Mass layoff events and initial claimants for unemployment insurance, New Jersey, selected industries, annual totals
Industry Mass layoff events Initial claims for unemployment insurance
2009 2010 2011 2012 2009 2010 2011 2012

Total, all industries (1)

518 690 569 585 51,623 68,149 61,398 66,811

Total, private

480 637 484 536 48,186 63,108 52,371 61,536

Total, private nonfarm

479 636 483 535 48,091 63,044 52,309 61,461

Construction

33 40 27 32 2,490 2,856 1,993 2,752

Heavy and civil engineering construction

17 19 14 23 1,315 1,387 921 2,116

Specialty trade contractors

13 19 11 8 947 1,349 961 559

Manufacturing

73 115 59 70 6,171 9,260 5,273 6,089

Food

9 11 10 16 796 913 1,279 1,445

Paper

(2) - 6 (2) - 5 (2) - 466 (2) - 342

Chemicals

12 20 19 9 892 1,852 1,637 820

Plastics and rubber products

8 5 (2) - 6 797 288 (2) - 352

Nonmetallic mineral products

8 14 5 11 746 1,100 518 1,140

Fabricated metal products

(2) - 10 (2) - 5 (2) - 889 (2) - 505

Computer and electronic products

6 13 (2) - 4 447 951 (2) - 460

Wholesale trade

13 19 14 13 1,087 1,695 1,452 1,795

Merchant wholesalers, durable goods

(2) - 10 6 (2) - (2) - 860 671 (2) -

Merchant wholesalers, nondurable goods

10 9 8 8 790 835 781 1,467

Retail trade

52 82 67 73 4,573 7,426 6,040 6,855

Building material and garden supply stores

7 9 (2) - 8 621 936 (2) - 815

Food and beverage stores

10 20 19 21 685 1,643 1,672 1,777

Health and personal care stores

(2) - 4 6 (2) - (2) - 264 425 (2) -

Clothing and clothing accessories stores

(2) - 6 5 (2) - (2) - 430 320 (2) -

General merchandise stores

26 29 25 27 2,435 2,751 2,626 2,937

Transportation and warehousing

107 119 105 128 11,902 12,475 11,062 12,432

Transit and ground passenger transportation

91 100 87 115 9,632 10,538 9,617 11,220

Warehousing and storage

4 6 9 8 392 504 765 638

Information

12 17 12 10 1,050 2,399 1,248 5,895

Publishing industries, except Internet

(2) - 7 5 (2) - (2) - 669 559 (2) -

Telecommunications

6 9 7 6 575 1,680 689 5,576

Finance and insurance

24 23 15 14 1,781 1,760 1,150 993

Credit intermediation and related activities

16 13 10 9 1,144 1,005 729 603

Securities, commodity contracts, investments

7 7 4 (2) - 557 419 309 (2) -

Professional and technical services

11 21 13 8 909 1,750 1,136 1,016

Management of companies and enterprises

(2) - (2) - (2) - 5 (2) - (2) - (2) - 320

Administrative and waste services

55 80 60 68 4,362 5,997 4,479 5,398

Administrative and support services

55 77 58 67 4,362 5,837 4,350 5,301

Educational services

4 4 5 (2) - 238 233 348 (2) -

Health care and social assistance

14 15 14 16 1,500 1,933 1,186 1,388

Hospitals

(2) - 5 3 (2) - (2) - 1,015 248 (2) -

Social assistance

9 10 10 13 721 918 886 1,146

Arts, entertainment, and recreation

5 6 (2) - 7 294 445 (2) - 607

Amusements, gambling, and recreation

4 5 (2) - 4 239 380 (2) - 286

Accommodation and food services

70 89 79 84 11,150 14,191 15,776 15,435

Accommodations

18 31 23 36 2,040 2,688 2,046 3,455

Food services and drinking places

52 58 56 48 9,110 11,503 13,730 11,980

Government

38 53 85 49 3,437 5,041 9,027 5,275

Federal

- - 2 - - - 149 -

State

7 7 6 8 1,298 1,018 861 1,039

Local

31 46 77 41 2,139 4,023 8,017 4,236

Footnotes
(1) Total includes all industries, including those not listed in the table.
(2) Data do not meet BLS or state agency disclosure standards.

NOTE: Dash represents zero.

Last Modified Date: March 16, 2012

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