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Economy in Brief

Mass Layoffs Lowest Since 2000
by Tom Moeller February 23, 2006

Mass layoffs in January reversed all of the prior month's revised increase and fell 27.5%. The decline in the number of mass layoff events was to the lowest level since October, 2000.

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 also fell sharply. The 27.5% m/m decline similarly reversed all of December's gain as layoffs in the construction industry plummeted (-76.4% y/y) with record warm temperatures. The number of affected workers in the factory sector also fell sharply (-49.7% y/y) and industry declines were widespread.

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 Jan Dec Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
All US Industries (# Events, SA) 1,113 1,308 -24.0% 15,670 15,877 19,155
Total (# Persons, SA) 108,378 149,565 -29.5% 1,717,119 1,589,446 1,936,463
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