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In the second quarter of 2012, 1,476 extended mass layoff events separate 262,848 workers

EXTENDED MASS LAYOFFS -- SECOND QUARTER 2012

                                   
Employers in the private nonfarm sector initiated 1,476 mass layoff events in the
second quarter of 2012 that resulted in the separation of 262,848 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 1,810 and 317,546, respectively. (See table A.) In 2012,
total events reached their lowest second quarter level since 2007, while 
manufacturing sector events declined to their lowest level for any quarter in 
program history (with data available back to 1995). The completion of seasonal
work accounted for 44 percent of the total extended mass layoff events during the
quarter. Second quarter 2012 layoff data are preliminary and are subject to revision.
(See the Technical Note.)

Industry Distribution of Extended Layoffs
 
Over the year ending in the second quarter of 2012, the number of private nonfarm
extended mass layoff events declined in 15 of the 18 major industry sectors, with
the largest decreases occurring in accommodation and food services and in 
manufacturing. Total manufacturing events declined over-the-year from 263 to 180,
their lowest level for any quarter in program history. Sixteen of the 21 manufacturing
subsectors experienced over-the-year decreases in the number of layoff events. (See
table 1.)

The construction sector had 194 extended mass layoff events and 21,825 separations,
primarily due to contract completion. This sector accounted for 13 percent of the
layoff events and 8 percent of the related separations during the second quarter of 
2012.

Reasons for Extended Layoffs

Layoffs due to the completion of seasonal work accounted for 44 percent of extended
mass layoff events and 51 percent of related separations in the private nonfarm sector
during the second quarter of 2012. Business demand factors, primarily contract
completion, accounted for 32 percent of the events and 27 percent of related 
separations during the quarter. (See table 2.)


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 (r) ......         1,393            235,325            291,066
October-December (r) ....         1,903            334,383            403,439

     2012

January-March (r) .......         1,290            245,901            286,384
April-June (p) ..........         1,476            262,848            221,997


    r = revised.
    p = preliminary.


Movement of Work

In the second quarter of 2012, 36 extended mass layoffs involved movement of work and
were associated with 7,506 worker separations. Forty-seven percent of the events
related to movement of work were from manufacturing industries. Employers cited
organizational changes as the economic reason for layoff in 58 percent of the events
involving movement of work. Among workers seperated by the movement of work, the
largest proportions were in the Midwest. (See tables 6-8.)

The 36 events with movement of work for the second quarter involved 42 identifiable
relocations of work actions. (See table 9.) Employers were able to provide information
on the specific number of worker separations for 25 of these actions. Among these 
actions, most were domestic reassignments and involved work moving within the same 
company. (See table 10.)

Recall Expectations

Sixty-four percent of the private nonfarm employers reporting an extended mass layoff
in the second quarter of 2012 anticipated recalling at least some of the displaced
workers--the highest second quarter percentage since 1998. Of those employers expecting
to recall workers, 44 percent indicated the offer would be extended to all displaced
employees and 77 percent anticipated extending the offer to at least half of the workers.
Among employers expecting to recall laid-off workers, 75 percent intend to do so within
six months. Excluding extended mass layoff events due to seasonal work and vacation period,
employers anticipated recalling laid-off workers in 38 percent of the events. (See table
11.)


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


                                                        2011 II (r)            2012 II (p)
                        
            Metropolitan area                        Initial                  Initial
                                                    claimants     Rank       claimants   Rank

        Total, 372 metropolitan areas ...........    278,922                  181,686      

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif. ........     34,819        1          22,248      1
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long
    Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. .......................     20,469        2          16,019      2
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. .......     14,664        3          12,497      3
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. ........      9,355        4           6,134      4
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.
   -N.J.-Del.-Md. ...............................      8,621        5           4,561      5
St. Louis, Mo.-Ill. .............................      5,077        9           4,190      6
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. ...........      7,826        6           4,087      7
Kansas City, Mo.-Kan. ...........................      1,904       27           3,353      8
Pittsburgh, Pa. .................................      5,600        8           3,042      9
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas ...............      3,118       13           2,881     10

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


Size of Extended Layoffs
  
The average size of a layoff (as measured by the number of separations per layoff event)
was 178 workers during the second quarter of 2012. (See table 12.) Events were largely
concentrated at the lower end of the extended layoff-size spectrum, with 67 percent
involving fewer than 150 workers. Conversely, only 6 percent of layoff events involved
500 or more workers. (See table 13.)

Initial Claimant Characteristics

A total of 221,997 initial claimants for unemployment insurance were associated with
extended mass layoffs in the second quarter of 2012. Of these claimants, 18 percent were
black, 18 percent were Hispanic, 53 percent were women, and 25 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 Hispanic, 47 percent were women, and
21 percent were 55 years of age or older.

Geographic Distribution
  
Among the four census regions, the West recorded the highest number of extended mass layoff
events in the second quarter of 2012. Among the nine census divisions, the highest number
of mass layoff events was in the Pacific. All regions and 8 of the 9 divisions registered
fewer extended mass layoff events compared with the second quarter of 2011. (See table 4.)

California recorded the largest number of extended mass layoff events in the second quarter
of 2012, followed by Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York. Over the year, 38 states reported
decreased numbers of extended mass layoff events for the second quarter. The largest declines
were in California, Florida, and Pennsylvania. (See table 5.)

Eighty-two percent of the initial claimants for unemployment insurance associated with 
extended mass layoff events in the second quarter of 2012 resided within metropolitan areas.
Among the 372 metropolitan areas, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif., reported the
highest number of resident initial claimants. (See table B.)

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 between consecutive quarters should not be used as an
indicator of trend. For additional information about the program, see the Technical Note.

________________
The Mass Layoffs news release for July is scheduled to be released on
Thursday, August 23, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).



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