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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mass Layoffs Are Lowest Since 2007
by Tom Moeller April 25, 2011

The improved U.S. employment picture continues to reflect the decline in mass layoffs. The Labor Department reported Friday that layoffs last month of 50 or more persons from a single firm fell 21.3% from March, 2010. Perhaps as impressive, the seasonally adjusted level of 1,286 was its lowest since September, 2007.

Most sectors have seen a significant decline in layoffs, led by the finance and insurance industries. A mass layoff involves at least 50 initial claimants from a single establishment filing during a consecutive 5-week period. The BLS data are available in Haver's USECON database. Underlying state and area detail are available in the REGIONAL database.

Mass Layoffs Mar Feb Jan 2010 2009 2008
Total (SA) 1,286 1,421 1,534 19,350 28,236 21,689
Total (Y/Y) -21.3% -4.8% -10.6% -31.5% 30.2% 42.1%
 Private Nonfarm -24.0 -15.8 -11.6 -33.2 32.2 38.3
  Construction -15.4 -37.3 -0.9 -20.2 18.4 22.6
  Manufacturing -30.0 -21.3 -28.0 -53.0 40.1 48.0
  Retail Trade -28.2 -10.9 -6.9 -19.9 34.9 39.0
  Information -30.8 45.0 -36.9 -27.1 38.0 42.3
  Finance & Insurance -55.8 -31.3 -34.0 -36.5 22.6 8.2
  Health Care & Social Assistance 0.0 -9.7 21.7 5.0 16.4 28.9
  Arts, Entertainment and Recreation -35.0 -31.3 57.1 -6.7 25.1 29.6
 Government -29.2 -12.7 -0.8 5.3 58.2 29.3
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