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U.S. Mass Layoffs in July 2011
added: 2011-08-25

Employers took 1,579 mass layoff actions in July involving 145,000 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 July increased by 47, or 3 percent, from June, and the number of associated initial claims increased by 1,556, or 1 percent. In July, 342 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted, resulting in 35,460 initial claims.

The national unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in July, essentially unchanged from the prior month but down from 9.5 percent a year earlier. In July, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 117,000 over the month and by 1,258,000 over the year.

Industry Distribution (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

The number of mass layoff events in July was 2,176, not seasonally adjusted, resulting in 216,774 initial claims for unemployment insurance. The number of mass layoff events increased by 52, or 2 percent, from July 2010, and associated initial claims increased by 10,520, or 5 percent. Eight of the 19 major industry sectors in the private economy reported over-the-year increases in initial claims, with the largest increases occurring in manufacturing and administrative and waste services. The six-digit industry with the largest number of initial claims in July 2011 was temporary help services.

The manufacturing sector accounted for 28 percent of all mass layoff events and 33 percent of initial claims filed in July. A year earlier, manufacturing made up 25 percent of events and 31 percent of initial claims. Within this sector, the number of claimants in July 2011 was greatest in the transportation equipment subsector. Fourteen of the 21 manufacturing subsectors experienced over-the-year increases in initial claims, with the largest increase occurring in textile mills.

Government layoffs reached a July series high in terms of average weekly initial claims, largely due to a partial state government shutdown in Minnesota.

Geographic Distribution (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Three of the 4 regions and 6 of the 9 divisions experienced over-the-year increases in initial claims for unemployment insurance due to mass layoffs in July. Among the census regions, the South registered the largest over-the-year increase in initial claims. Of the geographic divisions, the West North Central had the largest over-the-year increase in initial claims.

California recorded the highest number of mass layoff initial claims in July, followed by New York, Michigan, and Florida. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia experienced over-the-year increases in initial claims, led by Minnesota. Minnesota recorded a July series high level of mass layoff initial claims during 2011, mostly due to a partial shutdown of the state government.


Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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