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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

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Mass Layoffs in Pennsylvania – 2011 Annual Totals

Employers in Pennsylvania took 1,332 mass layoff actions in 2011 that resulted in the separation of 124,838 workers, as measured by new filings of 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. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the number of claims rose by 12,270 or 10.9 percent from the previous year’s level. Despite increasing over the year, the number of mass layoff initial claims in 2011 was still 31.6 percent below the peak of 182,524 reached in 2009.

Chart 1. Mass layoff initial claims, Pennsylvania, annual totals, 20062011

Industry distribution

Of all the industry sectors in Pennsylvania, manufacturing experienced the most mass layoff events in 2011 with 421. (See table 1.) This sector also had the largest number of initial claimants for unemployment insurance at 37,088, or 29.7 percent of the Commonwealth’s total—more than twice the count for any other industry. The construction sector was second with 215 mass layoff events, but the 17,336 associated initial claims for unemployment insurance ranked third. Transportation and warehousing, with 164 events, ranked second in claims with 18,067, the highest annual total for this industry since the series began in 1996. Four other industry sectors also reached series highs for initial claimants in 2011. (See table A.)

Table A. Sectors reaching series highs for mass layoff initial claimants in 2011, Pennsylvania
Sector Initial claimants for unemployment insurance

Transportation and warehousing

18,067

Accommodation and food services

9,926

Information

3,187

Local government

2,661

Arts, entertainment, and recreation

1,616

Transportation and warehousing had the largest increase in mass layoff-related initial claims over the year, up 4,711 in 2011. (See table B.) Information had the second-largest rise (2,180), followed by administrative and waste services (1,862). Two other sectors finished 2011 with at least 1,000 more initial claimants than in 2010. All five of these industries had posted over-the-year decreases in 2010; however, only two—transportation and warehousing and information—experienced increases in claims in 2011 that offset the declines from one year earlier. The largest percent increase in initial claims from 2010 to 2011 occurred in information (216.5 percent), followed by federal government (72.3 percent).

Table B. Sectors with at least 1,000 more mass layoff initial claims in 2011, Pennsylvania
Sector Net change
2009-10 2010-11

Transportation and warehousing

-1,814 4,711

Information

-211 2,180

Administrative and waste services

-2,664 1,862

Construction

-1,448 1,249

Retail trade

-2,277 1,178

In contrast, three sectors saw a decline in the number of initial claims associated with mass layoff events in 2011, led by professional and technical services, down 1,297 or 40.6 percent. Finance and insurance followed, down 725 (-41.9 percent), then mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, down 277 (-40.9 percent).

Among the states, California recorded the highest number of mass layoff initial claims, 377,413, in 2011. Pennsylvania ranked second with 124,838, followed by New York (119,398) and Florida (79,766). Twenty-nine states experienced over-the-year decreases in total initial claims for the year, led by California (-42,396), Illinois (-19,191), and Florida (-9,010). One state, South Dakota, experienced no change in its initial claims count, while twenty states and the District of Columbia had increases in initial claims from 2010 to 2011, led by North Carolina (22,393) and Pennsylvania (12,270). In three of these states, Arkansas, Nebraska, and North Carolina, initial claims reached a series high in 2011.

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.

For personal assistance or further information on mass layoffs, as well as other Bureau data, contact the Mid-Atlantic Information Office at 215-597-3282 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. 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, selected industries, Pennsylvania, annual totals
Industry Mass layoff events Initial claims for unemployment insurance
Historical
data
2008 2009 2010 2011 Historical
data
2008 2009 2010 2011

Total, all industries (1)

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1,415 2,062 1,299 1,332
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128,041 182,524 112,568 124,838

Total private (1)

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1,394 2,031 1,262 1,282
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125,461 179,776 108,336 119,015

Total private nonfarm (1)

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1,393 2,028 1,260 1,281
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125,413 179,546 108,212 118,941

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (1)

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8 23 7 4
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558 1,795 677 400

Mining, except oil and gas

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7 18 7 (3)
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491 1,498 677 (3)

Construction

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215 242 203 215
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16,276 17,535 16,087 17,336

Construction of buildings

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25 27 21 22
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1,683 2,073 1,737 1,630

Heavy and civil engineering construction

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86 94 93 115
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7,173 6,829 8,252 10,279

Specialty trade contractors

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104 121 89 78
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7,420 8,633 6,098 5,427

Manufacturing (1)

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627 1,003 440 421
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60,045 92,719 36,324 37,088

Food

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68 74 60 68
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7,394 7,110 5,248 8,167

Beverage and tobacco products

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12 8 4 6
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751 544 294 355

Textile mills

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9 17 7 8
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611 1,305 549 563

Textile product mills (2)

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8 (3) 5 (3)
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878 (3) 496 (3)

Apparel (2)

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29 31 20 14
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2,165 2,428 1,347 908

Wood products

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94 88 56 53
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7,839 7,019 3,762 3,896

Paper

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14 26 8 12
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1,075 1,607 521 732

Printing and related support activities

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14 29 14 14
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1,351 3,048 1,157 1,537

Petroleum and coal products

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(3) (3) 5 (3)
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(3) (3) 368 (3)

Chemicals

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9 20 (3) 7
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565 1,525 (3) 619

Plastics and rubber products (2)

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45 54 20 26
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3,653 4,156 1,461 1,919

Nonmetallic mineral products

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32 41 28 23
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2,554 3,225 2,373 1,999

Primary metals

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38 132 45 37
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4,153 12,969 3,852 2,857

Fabricated metal products

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92 161 52 48
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8,257 13,700 4,313 4,094

Machinery (2)

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17 85 14 15
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2,297 8,197 1,659 1,144

Computer and electronic products

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28 42 16 18
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2,830 4,223 1,471 1,452

Electrical equipment and appliances

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10 35 6 8
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1,247 3,195 412 835

Transportation equipment (2)

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55 77 35 25
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6,138 10,742 2,960 2,557

Furniture and related products (2)

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35 51 33 25
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4,567 5,087 2,846 2,088

Miscellaneous manufacturing (2)

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12 19 (3) 10
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1,292 1,478 (3) 991

Wholesale trade (1)

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19 48 18 21
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1,891 6,517 1,443 1,566

Merchant wholesalers, durable goods

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5 26 7 (3)
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631 2,626 414 (3)

Electronic markets and agents and brokers

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11 19 9 12
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1,065 3,669 918 831

Retail trade (1)

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96 129 107 103
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8,477 12,549 10,272 11,450

Building material and garden supply stores

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10 9 10 6
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1,025 879 1,079 615

Food and beverage stores

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24 27 28 23
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1,725 2,006 2,245 1,998

Health and personal care stores

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(3) 5 (3) 7
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(3) 335 (3) 438

Gasoline stations

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(3) 9 5 7
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(3) 602 334 473

Clothing and clothing accessory stores

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11 12 5 5
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819 959 389 294

Sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores

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5 11 6 7
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377 893 406 667

General merchandise stores

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30 36 37 37
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3,383 5,381 4,463 6,110

Nonstore retailers

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4 9 8 6
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313 806 785 527

Transportation and warehousing (1)

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146 185 147 164
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14,663 15,170 13,356 18,067

Truck transportation

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14 23 11 6
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983 2,008 770 386

Transit and ground passenger transportation

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94 116 106 123
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10,569 9,346 9,780 14,868

Support activities for transportation

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4 4 6 (3)
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238 284 418 (3)

Warehousing and storage

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21 30 16 24
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1,513 2,408 1,267 1,867

Information (1)

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11 17 15 17
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683 1,218 1,007 3,187

Publishing industries, except Internet

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(3) 11 7 (3)
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(3) 774 464 (3)

Telecommunications (2)

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8 6 7 6
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521 444 464 2,449

Finance and insurance (1) (2)

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13 19 22 13
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921 1,672 1,731 1,006

Credit intermediation and related services

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9 11 11 9
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631 866 946 776

Insurance carriers and related activities

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(3) 5 8 (3)
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(3) 552 528 (3)

Real estate and rental and leasing (2)

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(3) (3) 5 (3)
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(3) (3) 308 (3)

Professional and technical services (2)

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34 36 34 20
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3,133 2,913 3,194 1,897

Administrative and waste services (1) (2)

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103 143 111 129
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7,877 10,687 8,023 9,885

Administrative and support services (2)

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103 140 111 126
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7,877 10,535 8,023 9,673

Educational services

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11 12 6 (3)
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1,644 1,207 641 (3)

Health care and social assistance

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35 59 51 57
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2,439 4,342 4,159 4,256

Ambulatory health care services

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5 (3) 9 10
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362 (3) 697 895

Hospitals

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8 22 15 7
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652 1,753 1,673 470

Nursing and residential care facilities

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8 (3) 8 13
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524 (3) 577 990

Social assistance

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14 24 19 27
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901 1,605 1,212 1,901

Arts, entertainment, and recreation

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17 21 22 21
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1,011 1,561 1,602 1,616

Performing arts and spectator sports

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9 9 11 12
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497 658 725 688

Amusements, gambling, and recreation

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8 12 11 9
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514 903 877 928

Accommodation and food services

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54 69 64 76
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5,534 8,219 8,981 9,926

Accommodations

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22 31 23 25
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1,457 2,639 1,608 1,692

Food services and drinking places

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32 38 41 51
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4,077 5,580 7,373 8,234

Other services, except public administration (1)

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(3) 9 6 6
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(3) 488 305 393

Repair and maintenance

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(3) (3) (3) 5
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(3) (3) (3) 315

Government

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21 31 37 50
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2,580 2,748 4,232 5,823

Federal

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2 5 3 5
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126 673 465 801

State

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7 13 18 16
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539 1,026 1,731 2,361

Local

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12 13 16 29
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1,915 1,049 2,036 2,661

Footnotes
(1) Total includes industries not shown in the table.
(2) Data beginning in 2008 are not strictly comparable to prior years due to a change in NAICS versions.
(3) Data do not meet BLS or state agency disclosure standards.

Note: Dash represents zero.

Last Modified Date: March 7, 2012

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