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Economy in Brief

Mass Layoffs Jumped in December
by Tom Moeller January 25, 2006

Mass layoffs jumped 8.5% in December following a like rise during November. The latest was the highest level since January of 2005. For the year, the number of mass layoffs fell by 1.4%.

During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 87% correlation between the three month average level of layoff announcements and the y/y change in payroll employment.

The number of persons affected in December by mass layoffs jumped 23.8% m/m. During the latest two months layoffs in the construction industry have soared. Elsewhere by industry, the number of factory sector layoff announcements rose 10.1% (49.9% y/y) in December due to a tripling in transportation and in retail the number of affected persons doubled m/m (34.2% y/y).

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

Mass Layoffs Dec Nov Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
All US Industries (# Events, SA) 1,308 1,205 10.1% 15,662 15,877 19,155
Total (# Persons, SA) 149,565 120,783 24.0% 1,714,433 1,589,446 1,936,463
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