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U.S. Mass Layoffs
added: 2011-07-23

Employers took 1,532 mass layoff actions in June involving 143,444 workers, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Each mass layoff involved at least 50 workers from a single employer. The number of mass layoff events in June decreased by 67, or 4 percent, from May, and the number of associated initial claims decreased by 96, or less than 1 percent. In June, 341 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted, resulting in 35,693 initial claims; both figures decreased over the month.

The national unemployment rate was 9.2 percent in June, essentially unchanged from the prior month but down from 9.5 percent a year earlier. In June, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 18,000 over the month and by 1,036,000 over the year.

Industry Distribution (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

The number of mass layoff events in June was 1,661, not seasonally adjusted, resulting in 159,930 initial claims for unemployment insurance. The number of mass layoff events was down by 200 from June 2010, and associated initial claims decreased by 11,260, or
7 percent. Nine of the 19 major industry sectors in the private economy reported over-the-year declines in initial claims, with the largest decreases occurring in accommodation and food services, retail trade, and construction. The six-digit industry with the largest number of initial claims in June 2011 was elementary and secondary schools.

The manufacturing sector accounted for 14 percent of all mass layoff events and initial claims filed in June. A year earlier, manufacturing made up 11 percent of events and 12 percent of initial claims. Within this sector, the number of claimants in June 2011 was greatest in the food and transportation equipment subsectors. Twelve of the 21 manufacturing subsectors experienced over-the-year increases in initial claims, with the largest increases occurring in food and in miscellaneous manufacturing.

Geographic Distribution (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Three of the 4 regions and 7 of the 9 divisions experienced over-the-year decreases in initial claims for unemployment insurance due to mass layoffs in June. Among the census regions, the West registered the largest over-the-year decrease in initial claims. Of the geographic divisions, the Pacific had the largest over-the-year decline in initial claims.

California recorded the highest number of mass layoff initial claims in June, followed by Pennsylvania, Texas, and Florida. Thirty-one states experienced over-the-year decreases in initial claims, led by California.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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