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Labor Statistics – 4th Quarter 2012 – Extended Mass Layoff Summary


EXTENDED MASS LAYOFFS — FOURTH QUARTER 2012
ANNUAL TOTALS — 2012

Employers in the private nonfarm sector initiated 1,674 mass layoff events in the fourth quarter of 2012 that resulted in the separation of 319,639 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the year, total extended mass layoff events and associated worker separations were down from 1,903 and 334,383, respectively. (See table A.) Permanen worksite closures accounted for 7 percent of all events and 10 percentof all separations during the fourth quarter of 2012, primarily in the manufacturing sector. Fourth quarter 2012 layoff data are preliminary and are subject to revision. (See the Technical Note.) Preliminary fourth quarter 2012 data indicate that in New Jersey and New York, 31 extended mass layoff events related to Hurricane Sandy resulted in 6,759 worker separations.

Industry Distribution of Extended Layoffs

Construction industry firms reported 528 extended mass layoff events and 68,463 separations in the fourth quarter of 2012, largely due to the completion of seasonal work. This sector accounted for 32 percent of layoff events and 21 percent of related separations during the quarter. (See table 1.) During the same period, the manufacturing sector had 311 extended mass layoff events and 62,964 separations, also largely due to the completion of seasonal work. This sector accounted for 19 percent of layoff events and 20 percent of related separations during the quarter. Employers in the administrative and waste services sector reported 249 layoff events and 55,685 separations, primarily due to contract completion.

Table A. Selected measures of extended mass layoff activity

     Period                   Layoff events      Separations     Initial claimants

     2008                                             

January-March...........          1,340            230,098            259,292
April-June..............          1,756            354,713            339,630
July-September..........          1,581            290,453            304,340
October-December........          3,582            641,714            766,780

     2009     

January-March...........          3,979            705,141            835,551
April-June..............          3,395            651,318            731,049
July-September..........          2,034            345,531            406,823
October-December........          2,416            406,212            468,577

     2010

January-March...........          1,870            314,512            368,664
April-June..............          2,008            381,622            396,441
July-September..........          1,370            222,357            260,077
October-December........          1,999            338,643            390,584

     2011

January-March...........          1,490            225,456            258,220
April-June..............          1,810            317,546            342,530
July-September..........          1,393            235,325            291,066
October-December........          1,903            334,383            403,457

     2012

January-March(r) .......          1,294            246,956            291,174
April-June(r) ..........          1,959            385,983            383,466
July-September(r) ......          1,124            199,680            228,528
October-December(p) ....          1,674            319,639            273,975

    r = revised.
    p = preliminary.

 

Reasons for Extended Layoffs

Layoffs due to the completion of seasonal work accounted for 44 percent of extended mass layoff events and 39 percent of related separations in the private nonfarm sector during the fourth quarter of 2012. Business demand factors, primarily contract completion, accounted for 32 percent of both events and related separations during the quarter. (See table 2.)

Movement of Work

In the fourth quarter of 2012, 29 extended mass layoffs involved movement of work and were associated with 6,290 worker separations. Forty-one percent of the events related to movement of work were from manufacturing industries. Employers cited organizational changes as the economic reason for layoff in 34 percent of the events involving movement of work. Among the four census regions, the Northeast had the largest share of workers affected by the movement of work. (See tables 6-8.) The 29 events with movement of work for the fourth quarter involved 39 identifiable relocations of work actions. (See table 9.) Employers were able to provide information on the specific number of worker separations for 22 of these actions. Among these 22 actions, most were domestic reassignments and involved work moving within the same company. (See table 10.)

Table B. Metropolitan areas with the largest number of initial claimants associated with extended mass layoff events in the fourth quarter 2012, by residency of claimants

                                                      2011 IV (r)           2012 IV (p)

            Metropolitan area                      Initial                Initial
                                                  claimants     Rank     claimants    Rank

        Total, 372 metropolitan areas ...........  326,505                220,398

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif. ........   69,571        1        31,715      1
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long                          
    Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. .......................   18,673        2        15,342      2
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. .......   15,952        3        11,847      3
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. ........   13,493        4         9,554      4
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. ...........   11,376        5         7,812      5
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif. ...........    7,539        6         5,434      6
Pittsburgh, Pa. .................................    3,490       14         4,209      7
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, Calif. .....    5,064        8         3,887      8
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. ..........    4,889        9         3,825      9
Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. ........................    6,051        7         3,667     10

   r = revised.
   p = preliminary.
   NOTE: The geographic boundaries of the metropolitan areas shown in this table are definedin Office of Management and Budget Bulletin 10-02, December 1, 2009.

Recall Expectations

Sixty-three percent of the private nonfarm employers reporting an extended mass layoff in the fourth quarter of 2012 anticipated recalling at least some of the displaced workers. Of those employers expecting to recall workers, 37 percent indicated the offer would be extended to all displaced employees and 78 percent anticipated extending the offer to at least half of the workers. Among employers expecting to recall laid-off workers, 74 percent intend to do so within six months. Excluding extended mass layoff events due to seasonal work and vacation period, employers anticipated recalling the laid-off workers in 41 percent of the events. (See table 11.)

Size of Extended Layoffs

The average size of an extended mass layoff (as measured by the number of separations per layoff event) was 191 workers during the forth quarter of 2012. (See table 12.) Events were largely concentrated at the lower end of the extended layoff-size spectrum, with 64 percent involving fewer than 150 workers. Conversely, only 6 percent of layoff events involved 500 or more workers. (See table 13.)

Table C. Selected measures of mass layoff activity, 1996-2012

   Period                   Layoff events       Separations     Initial claimants

    1996 ................       4,760             948,122             805,810
    1997 ................       4,671             947,843             879,831
    1998 ................       4,859             991,245           1,056,462
    1999 ................       4,556             901,451             796,917
    2000 ................       4,591             915,962             846,267
    2001 ................       7,375           1,524,832           1,457,512
    2002 ................       6,337           1,272,331           1,218,143
    2003 ................       6,181           1,216,886           1,200,811
    2004 ................       5,010             993,909             903,079
    2005 ................       4,881             884,661             834,533

    2006 ................       4,885             935,969             951,155
    2007 ................       5,363             965,935             978,712
    2008 ................       8,259           1,516,978           1,670,042
    2009 ................      11,824           2,108,202           2,442,000
    2010 ................       7,247           1,257,134           1,415,766
    2011(r) .............       6,596           1,112,710           1,295,273
    2012(p) .............       6,051           1,152,258           1,177,143

   r = revised.	
   p = preliminary.

 

Initial Claimant Characteristics

A total of 273,975 initial claimants for unemployment insurance were associated with extended mass layoffs in the fourth quarter of 2012. Of these claimants, 12 percent were black, 22 percent were Hispanic, 29 percent were women, and 19 percent were 55 years of age or older. (See table 3.) In the entire civilian labor force for the same period, 12 percent of all persons were black, 16 percent were ispanic, 47 percent were women, and 21 percent were 55 years of age or older.

Geographic Distribution

Among the four census regions, the Midwest had the highest number of extended mass layoff events in the fourth quarter of 2012, primaily in the construction industry. Among the nine census divisions, the highest number of extended mass layoff events was in the Pacific. (See table 4.) California had the largest number of extended mass layoff events in the fourth quarter of 2012, followed by Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. (See table 5.) Excluding layoff activity due to seasonal work and vacation period reasons, California, New York, and Illinois had the largest numbers of events. Eighty percent of the initial claimants for unemployment insurance associated with extended mass layoff events in the fourth quarter of 2012 resided within metropolitan areas. Among the 372 metropolitan areas, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif., had the highest number of resident initial claimants. (See table B.)

Review of 2012

For all of 2012, employers reported 6,051 extended mass layoff actions, affecting 1,152,258 workers. Compared to 2011, the number of events decreased by 8 percent, while the number of separations increased by 4 percent. (See table C.) The annual proportion of extended mass layoff events involving permanent worksite closures, at 9 percent, increased for the first time since 2006. The annual average national unemployment rate decreased from 8.9 percent in 2011 to 8.1 percent in 2012, and private nonfarm payroll employment increased by 2.2 percent, or 2,410,000.

Industry Distribution of Extended Layoffs

In the private nonfarm economy, administrative and waste services firms reported the largest number of separations, increasing to the highest annual level since 2009. Manufacturing had the next highest number of separations, followed by construction.

Reasons for Extended

Layoffs Among the seven categories of economic reasons for layoff, layoffs due to business demand factors accounted for the largest number of extended mass layoff events during 2012, mostly due to contract completion. Layoffs attributed to this reason occurred primarily in construction and in administrative and waste services, which includes temporary help services. Movement of Work In 2012, 137 extended mass layoffs involved movement of work and were associated with 24,983 separated workers. Both measures reached program lows (with annual data available back to 2004). Forty-eight percent of events related to movement zof work were from manufacturing industries. Employers cited organizational issues in 49 percent of the layoffs involving the movement of work, the highest among the reason categories. The 137 extended layoff events with movement of work for 2012 involved 187 identifiable relocations of work actions. Employers were able to provide more complete separations information for 112 of the actions. Of these, 91 percent involved work moving within the same company, and 84 percent were domestic reassignments. Recall Expectations Fifty-seven percent of employers reporting an extended mass layoff in 2012 indicated they anticipated some type of recall, up slightly from 55 percent in 2011. Of those employers expecting to recall workers, 31 percent indicated that the offer would be extended to all displaced employees, and 65 percent intended to do so within 6 months. Excluding events due to seasonal work and vacation period, emloyers anticipated recalling laid-off workers in just 38 percent of the events.

Size of Extended Layoffs

In 2012, the average size of an extended mass layoff (as measured by separations per layoff event) was 190, the largest average size for a calendar year since 2006. Extended mass layoffs involving 500 or more workers accounted for 7 percent of events in 2012 but resulted in one-third of all separations.

Initial Claimant Characteristics

A total of 1,177,143 initial claimants for unemployment insurance were associated with extended mass layoffs in 2012. Of these claimants, 14 percent were black, 22 percent were Hispanic, 41 percent were women, and 20 percent were 55 years of age or older. Among persons in the civilian labor force for the same period, 12 percent were black, 16 percent were Hispanic, 47 percent were women, and 21 percent were 55 years of age or older.

Geographic Distribution

Among the four census regions, the West had the greatest numbers of laid-off workers in 2012, increasing by 22 percent to the highest annual level since 2009. Among the nine census divisions, the Pacific had the largest numbers of worker separations. Among the states, California had the largest annual numbers of laid-off workers. Among the 372 metropolitan areas, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif., had the highest number of resident initial claimants associated with extended mass layoff events in 2012, followed by New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa., and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.

Note: The quarterly series on extended mass layoffs cover layoffs of at least 31-days duration that involve 50 or more individuals from a single employer filing initial claims for unemployment insurance during a consecutive 5-week period. Approximately 30 days after a mass layoff is triggered, the employer is contacted for additional information. Data for the current quarter are preliminary and subject to revision. This release also includes revised data for previous quarters. Data are not seasonally adjusted, but survey data suggest that there is a seasonal pattern to layoffs. Thus, comparisons betweenconsecutive quarters should not be used as an indicator of trend. For additional information about the program, see the Technical Note.

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