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Economy in Brief

Mass Layoffs Rose in June and During 2Q
by Tom Moeller July 20, 2006

The number of mass layoff events rose 2.1% during June. Though the number remained down sharply from last year, for all of 2Q the number of events rose 1.6% from 1Q 2006, the first q/q increase in nearly two years.

During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 85% correlation between the three month average level of layoff announcements and the y/y change in payroll employment.

The number of persons affected in June by mass layoffs jumped 8.9% and rose 2.8% during 2Q. Layoffs in the transportation equipment sector (+29.0% y/y) dominated the rise in June and more than doubled m/m. Less transportation, the number of affected persons rose 1.6% (-10.6% y/y).

Increased layoffs in the apparel (69.8% y/y), machinery (35.1% y/y), furniture (153.0% y/y), textile mill, computer, metals and chemicals industries were damped by declines in electrical equipment (-76.0% y/y) and wholesale trade (-55.9% 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 June May Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
All US Industries (# Events, SA) 1,097 1,074 -7.3% 15,699 15,926 19,220
Total (# Persons, SA) 119,662 109,858 -6.8% 1,722,452 1,591,081 1,946,548
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