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Economy in Brief

Mass Layoffs Down
by Tom Moeller July 28, 2005

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of mass layoff events dropped 1.8% in June for the second consecutive month. The decline lowered the average number of events so far this year 7.4% versus last year's first six months.

While the number of firms reporting mass layoffs in June fell to 1,175, these layoffs generated 127,887 (-9.5% y/y) initial claims for unemployment insurance.

During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 78% correlation between the number of mass layoff events and the y/y change in non-farm payrolls.

The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program collects reports on mass layoff actions that result in workers being separated from their jobs. Monthly mass layoff numbers are from establishments which have at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) filed against them during a 5-week period. Extended mass layoff numbers (issued quarterly) are from a subset of such establishments--where private sector non-farm employers indicate that 50 or more workers were separated from their jobs for at least 31 days.

Mass Layoffs June May Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Number of Events: All Industries 1,175 1,196 -14.5% 15,900 19,155 20,474
Numbers of Persons Filing Initial Unemployment Insurance Claim: All Industries 127,887 128,771 -9.5% 1,588,493 1,936,463 2,256,014
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