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From 2009-11, 6.1 million workers were displaced from jobs they held for at least 3 years

WORKER DISPLACEMENT:  2009-2011


From January 2009 through December 2011, 6.1 million workers were
displaced from jobs they had held for at least 3 years, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was down from 6.9
million for the survey period covering January 2007 to December 2009.
In January 2012, 56 percent of workers displaced from 2009-11 were
reemployed, up by 7 percentage points from the prior survey in January
2010.

Since 1984, the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S.
Department of Labor has sponsored surveys that collect information on
workers who were displaced from their jobs. These surveys have been
conducted biennially as supplements to the Current Population Survey
(CPS), a monthly survey of households that is the primary source of
information on the nation's labor force.

Displaced workers are defined as persons 20 years of age and older who
lost or left jobs because their plant or company closed or moved,
there was insufficient work for them to do, or their position or shift
was abolished. The period covered in this study was 2009-11, the 3
calendar years prior to the January 2012 survey date. Most of this
period was characterized by modest employment growth. The following
analysis focuses primarily on the 6.1 million persons who had worked
for their employer for 3 or more years at the time of displacement
(referred to as long-tenured). An additional 6.7 million persons were
displaced from jobs they had held for less than 3 years (referred to
as short-tenured). Combining the short- and long-tenured groups, the
number of displaced workers totaled 12.9 million from 2009-11. In the
prior survey, which was conducted in January 2010 and covered 2007-09,
this group numbered 15.4 million. This previous survey reflected the
steep employment declines associated with the recession that began in
December 2007.

Highlights from the January 2012 survey include:

   --In January 2012, 56 percent of the 6.1 million long-tenured
     displaced workers were reemployed, up from 49 percent for the 
     prior survey in January 2010. (See table 1.)

   --Forty percent of long-tenured displaced workers from the 2009-11
     period cited insufficient work as the reason for their displacement,
     and 31 percent cited that their plant or company closed down or 
     moved. (See table 2.)

   --Nearly 1 in 5 long-tenured displaced workers lost a job in
     manufacturing. (See table 4.)

   --Among long-tenured workers who were displaced from full-time wage
     and salary jobs and who were reemployed in such jobs in January 2012,
     46 percent had earnings that were as much or greater than those of
     their lost job. (See table 7.)

Characteristics of the Reemployed

Fifty-six percent of the 6.1 million long-tenured displaced workers
were reemployed at the time of the survey in January 2012, up from 49
percent for the January 2010 survey. The proportion unemployed at the
time of the most recent survey was 27 percent, down from 36 percent in
the January 2010 survey. Seventeen percent of long-tenured displaced
workers were not in the labor force in January 2012, up from 15
percent for the previous survey. (See table 1.)

In January 2012, reemployment rates were about 62 percent for workers
ages 20 to 54. Reemployment rates were lower for older workers. The
rates for those ages 55 to 64 and 65 years and over were 47 and 24
percent, respectively. Among those age 65 and over, 49 percent were no
longer in the labor force when surveyed in January 2012.

Among long-tenured displaced workers, men had a higher reemployment
rate (61 percent) in January 2012 than women (50 percent). The
reemployment rate for men increased from 49 percent in January 2010,
while the rate for women was about unchanged from the prior survey.
Displaced men were less likely than displaced women to be unemployed
at the time of the survey in January 2012--23 versus 31 percent. The
share of displaced men who had left the labor force, at 16 percent,
continued to be lower than that for women--20 percent.

In January 2012, the reemployment rates for long-tenured displaced
whites (57 percent), Hispanics (55 percent), and Asians (60 percent)
were higher than in January 2010. The reemployment rate for blacks was
little changed at 46 percent in January 2012.

Reason for Job Loss and Receipt of Advance Notice

Of the 6.1 million long-tenured workers displaced during the January
2009 through December 2011 period, 40 percent lost or left their jobs
due to insufficient work, 31 percent due to plant or company closings
or moves, and 30 percent because their position or shift was
abolished. (See table 2.)

Thirty-eight percent of long-tenured displaced workers in the January
2012 survey received written advance notice that their jobs would be
terminated, about the same proportion as in the January 2010 survey.
Workers who lost jobs during the 2009-11 period due to plant or
company closings or moves were most likely to receive written advance
notice. Of this group, 52 percent received such notice. In contrast,
39 percent of workers who were displaced because their position or
shift was abolished and 25 percent of those who lost jobs due to
insufficient work were notified in advance. For each of these groups,
reemployment rates were similar for those who received written
advanced notice and those who did not. (See table 3.)

Industry and Occupation

During the 2009-11 period, 1.2 million long-tenured manufacturing
workers were displaced from their jobs--19 percent of all long-tenured
displaced workers, down from 23 percent in the prior survey period. In
the January 2012 survey, manufacturing displacements were concentrated
within the durable goods component (844,000). Workers in wholesale and
retail trade accounted for 14 percent of all long-tenured displaced, and
professional and business services made up 12 percent. (See table 4.)

Among the major industry groups, workers displaced from transportation
and utilities (67 percent) had a reemployment rate that was higher
than the overall reemployment rate for displaced workers. Workers
displaced from wholesale and retail trade were the least likely to be
reemployed (50 percent). (Workers were not necessarily reemployed in
the same industries from which they were displaced.)

Reemployment rates differed by major occupation, but were highest for
those displaced from management, professional, and related occupations
and from natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations
(60 percent each). They were lower for those displaced from service
occupations and sales and office occupations, 50 percent and 51
percent, respectively. Compared with the January 2010 survey,
reemployment rates were higher in January 2012 for displaced workers
from natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations and
from production, transportation, and material moving occupations.
Reemployment rates for workers displaced from other major occupational
groups were similar across the 2012 and 2010 surveys. (See table 5.)

Geographic Divisions

The number of long-tenured workers displaced during 2009-11 declined
from the 2007-09 period in the East North Central, South Atlantic,
Mountain, and New England geographic divisions of the United States.
Reemployment rates for the divisions ranged from 49 percent for the
Pacific division to 64 percent for the East South Central division.
(See table 6.)

Earnings

Of the 3.0 million displaced workers who lost full-time wage and
salary jobs during the 2009-11 period and were reemployed, 2.4 million
had full-time wage and salary jobs in January 2012. Of these reemployed 
full-time workers who reported earnings on their lost job, 46 percent 
were earning as much or more in January 2012 as they did at their lost 
job. About one-third reported earnings losses of 20 percent or more. 
These proportions were similar to those from the January 2010 survey. 
(See table 7.)

Total Displaced Workers (With No Tenure Restriction)

The total number of workers displaced between January 2009 and
December 2011 (regardless of how long they had held their jobs) was
12.9 million, down by 2.6 million from the 2007-2009 survey period. Of
the total number of workers who lost jobs over the 2009-11 period, 57
percent were reemployed and 28 percent were unemployed in January 2012. 
(See table 8.)



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