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U.S. Mass Layoffs in August 2011
added: 2011-09-26

Employers took 1,587 mass layoff actions in August involving 165,547 workers, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Each mass layoff involved at least 50 workers from a single employer. The number of mass layoff events in August increased by 8 from July, and the number of associated initial claims increased by 20,547. In August, 391 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted, resulting in 48,997 initial claims.

The national unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in August, unchanged from the prior month but down from 9.6 percent a year earlier. In August, total nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged from the prior month at 131.1 million and increased over the year by 1.3 million.

Industry Distribution (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

The number of mass layoff events in August was 961, not seasonally adjusted, resulting in 99,213 initial claims for unemployment insurance. Mass layoff events decreased by 15 from August 2010, while associated initial claims increased by 6,778. Nine of the 19 major industry sectors in the private economy reported over-the-year increases in initial claims, with the largest increases occurring in information and manufacturing. The six-digit industry with the largest number of initial claims in August 2011 was wired telecommunications carriers.

The manufacturing sector accounted for 24 percent of all mass layoff events and 27 percent of initial claims filed in August. A year earlier, manufacturing made up 24 percent of events and 25 percent of initial claims. Within this sector, the number of claimants in August 2011 was greatest in the transportation equipment subsector. Eleven of the 21 manufacturing subsectors experienced over-the-year increases in initial claims, with the largest increase occurring in machinery.

Geographic Distribution (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Three of the 4 regions and 8 of the 9 divisions experienced over-the-year increases in initial claims for unemployment insurance due to mass layoffs in August. Among the census regions, the Northeast registered the largest over-the-year increase in initial claims. Of the geographic divisions, the Middle Atlantic had the largest over-the-year increase in initial claims.

California recorded the highest number of mass layoff initial claims in August, followed by Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Thirty states and the District of Columbia experienced over-the-year increases in initial claims, led by Massachusetts and New Jersey.


Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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