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In the fourth quarter of 2011, 1,638 extended mass layoff events affected 266,971 workers

EXTENDED MASS LAYOFFS -- FOURTH QUARTER 2011
                         ANNUAL TOTALS -- 2011
                                   

Employers in the private nonfarm sector initiated 1,638 mass layoff
events in the fourth quarter of 2011 that resulted in the separation
of 266,971 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 1,999 and 338,643, respectively. Total events and
separations reached their lowest fourth quarter levels since 2005,
while manufacturing sector events and separations declined to their
lowest fourth quarter levels in program history. (See table A.) Fourth
quarter 2011 layoff data are preliminary and are subject to revision.
(See the Technical Note.)

Permanent worksite closures accounted for only 5 percent of extended
mass layoff events in the fourth quarter of 2011, the lowest proportion
of events due to closure for any quarter in program history (with data
available back to 1995). Sixty-four percent of private nonfarm
employers indicated they anticipated some type of worker recall--the
highest percentage in six years.

Industry Distribution of Extended Layoffs
 
Over the year ending in the fourth quarter of 2011, the number of
private nonfarm extended mass layoff events declined in 13 of the 18
major industry sectors. The construction and the accommodation and
food services sectors experienced the largest declines in the numbers
of worker separations over the year. Fourteen of the 21 manufacturing
subsectors experienced over-the-year decreases in the number of layoff
events. (See table 1.)

Events and separations in the manufacturing sector declined to their
lowest fourth quarter levels in program history. Fifty-three percent
of manufacturing employers with an extended mass layoff event in the
fourth quarter of 2011 anticipated recalling at least some of the
displaced workers.


Table A. Selected measures of extended mass layoff activity


     Period                  Layoff events       Separations     Initial claimants

     2007

January-March ..........          1,110            225,600            199,250
April-June..............          1,421            278,719            259,234
July-September .........          1,018            160,024            173,077
October-December .......          1,814            301,592            347,151

     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(r) ....          1,999            338,643            390,584
     
     2011                                                               

January-March(r) .......          1,490            225,456            258,220
April-June(r) ..........          1,810            317,546            342,529
July-September(r) ......          1,393            235,247            289,330
October-December(p) ....          1,638            266,971            249,692
                                                                             
    r = revised.
    p = preliminary.


The construction sector had 528 extended mass layoff events and 66,110
separations, primarily due to the ending of seasonal work. This sector
accounted for 32 percent of the layoff events and 25 percent of the
related separations in the fourth quarter of 2011. In these events, 84
percent of the employers anticipated recalling at least some of the
displaced workers.

Reasons for Extended Layoffs

Layoffs due to the completion of seasonal work accounted for 44
percent of the events and 42 percent of related separations in the
private nonfarm sector during the fourth quarter of 2011. Business
demand factors, primarily as a result of contract completion, accounted
for 34 percent of extended mass layoff events and 35 percent of related
separations during the quarter. Over the year, the largest decrease in
worker separations occurred in layoffs attributed to seasonal factors.
(See table 2.)

Movement of Work

In the fourth quarter of 2011, 33 extended mass layoffs involved
movement of work and were associated with 5,910 worker separations, a
series low for both figures in any quarter (with data available back
to 2004).

Sixty-four percent of the events related to movement of work were from
manufacturing industries. Employers cited organizational changes as
the economic reason for layoff in 48 percent of the events involving
movement of work. Among workers affected by the movement of work, the
largest proportions were in the Midwest and West. (See tables 6-9.)
   
The 33 events with movement of work for the fourth quarter involved 53
identifiable relocations of work actions. (See table 9.) Employers
were able to provide information on the specific number of worker
separations for 23 of these actions. Among these actions, 78 percent
were domestic reassignments, and 87 percent 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 2011, by residency of claimants


                                                 2010 IV (r)             2011 IV (p)
            Metropolitan area                Initial                  Initial
                                            claimants     Rank       claimants    Rank

        Total, 372 metropolitan areas ......  308,431       ...        195,619     ...
						   
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif. ....  38,825        1          36,296      1
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. ...  17,640        3          11,927      2
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long                                              
    Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. ...................  18,235        2           9,399      3
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. ....   9,945        4           6,204      4
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. .......   9,768        5           6,037      5
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif. .......   6,525        6           3,935      6
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington,                                                 
    Minn.-Wis. ..............................   3,183       18           3,167      7
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, Calif. .   5,710        8           2,928      8
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. ......   3,575       15           2,877      9
Modesto, Calif. .............................   3,653       14           2,538     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.


Recall Expectations

Sixty-four percent of the private nonfarm employers reporting an
extended mass layoff in the fourth quarter of 2011 indicated they
anticipated some type of recall--the highest fourth quarter percentage
since 2005. Of those employers expecting to recall workers, 32 percent
indicated the offer would be extended to all displaced employees, and
77 percent of employers anticipated extending the offer to at least
half of the workers. Among employers expecting to recall laid-off
workers, 73 percent intend to do so within 6 months. Excluding
extended mass layoff events due to seasonal work and vacation period,
in which 94 percent of the employers expected a recall, employers
anticipated recalling laid-off workers in 40 percent of the events.
(See table 11.)


Size of Extended Layoffs

The average size of a layoff (as measured by the number of separations
per layoff event) was 163 workers during the fourth quarter of 2011.
(See table 12.) Events were largely concentrated at the lower end of
the extended layoff-size spectrum, with over two-thirds involving
fewer than 150 workers. Conversely, only 4 percent of layoff events
involved 500 or more workers. (See table 13.)


Table C. Selected measures of mass layoff activity, 1996-2011
   
   
   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(r) .............   7,247           1,257,134           1,415,766
    2011(p) .............   6,331           1,045,220           1,139,771

   r = revised.
   p = preliminary.


Initial Claimant Characteristics

A total of 249,692 initial claimants for unemployment insurance were
associated with extended mass layoffs in the fourth quarter. Of these
claimants, 11 percent were black, 20 percent were Hispanic, 30 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, 15 percent were Hispanic, 47 percent were
women, and 20 percent were 55 years of age or older.

Geographic Distribution
  
Among the four census regions, the West recorded the highest number of
separations due to extended mass layoff events in the fourth quarter
of 2011. Among the nine census divisions, the highest number of
displaced workers was in the Pacific. All regions and 8 of the 9
divisions registered fewer laid-off workers compared with the fourth
quarter of 2010. (See table 4.)

California recorded the largest number of worker separations in the
fourth quarter of 2011, followed by Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and
Minnesota. Over the year, 36 states reported decreased numbers of
separated workers associated with extended mass layoff events during
the fourth quarter, led by Wisconsin, New Jersey, and New York. (See
table 5.)

Seventy-eight percent of the initial claimants for unemployment
insurance associated with extended mass layoff events in the fourth
quarter of 2011 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.)

Review of 2011

For all of 2011, employers reported 6,331 extended mass layoff
actions, affecting 1,045,220 workers. Compared to 2010, the number of
events decreased by 13 percent and the number of separations decreased
by 17 percent. (See table C.) Permanent worksite closures accounted
for 8 percent of extended mass layoff events in 2011, the lowest
proportion of events due to closure in program history (with annual
data available back to 1996). The annual average national unemployment
rate decreased from 9.6 percent in 2010 to 8.9 percent in 2011, and
private nonfarm payroll employment increased by 1.7 percent, or
1,869,000.

Industry Distribution of Extended Layoffs

In the private nonfarm economy, manufacturing had the largest number
of separations, despite reaching a program low in 2011. Construction
had the next highest number of separations, followed by administrative
and waste services.

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 events
during 2011, largely 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 2011, 163 extended mass layoffs involved movement of work and were
associated with 30,532 separated workers. Both measures reached
program lows (with annual data available back to 2004). Fifty-five
percent of events related to movement of work were from manufacturing
industries. Employers cited organizational issues in 41 percent of the
layoffs involving the movement of work, the highest among the reason
categories.

The 163 extended layoff events with movement of work for 2011 involved
230 identifiable relocations of work actions. Employers were able to
provide more complete separations information for 113 of the actions.
Of these, 82 percent involved work moving within the same company, and
77 percent were domestic reassignments.

Recall Expectations

Fifty-five percent of employers reporting an extended mass layoff in
2011 indicated they anticipated some type of recall, up from 50
percent in 2010. Of those employers expecting to recall workers, 34
percent indicated that the offer would be extended to all displaced
employees, and 69 percent intended to do so within 6 months. Excluding
events due to seasonal work and vacation period, employers anticipated
recalling laid-off workers in just 34 percent of the events.

Size of Extended Layoffs
  
In 2011, the average size of a layoff (as measured by separations per
layoff event) was 165, registering the smallest average size for a
calendar year in program history. Extended mass layoffs involving 500
or more workers accounted for only 5 percent of events in 2011 but
resulted in 26 percent of all separations.

Initial Claimant Characteristics

A total of 1,139,771 initial claimants for unemployment insurance were
associated with extended mass layoffs in 2011. Of these claimants, 15
percent were black, 20 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, 15
percent were Hispanic, 47 percent were women, and 20 percent were 55
years of age or older.

Geographic Distribution

Compared to 2010, all census regions, divisions, and 36 states
reported decreased numbers of laid-off workers in 2011. Among the
states, the largest decreases were reported by California, New York,
and Florida.

Among the 372 metropolitan areas, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana,
Calif., reported the highest number of resident initial claimants
associated with extended mass layoff events in 2011, followed by New
York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa., and Chicago-Joliet-
Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.

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 January 2012 is scheduled to be
released on Thursday, February 23, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. (EST). The
Extended Mass Layoffs news release for the First Quarter of 2012 is
scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).


  __________________________________________________________________   
 |                                  				    |
 |               Upcoming Changes to Mass Layoff Data		    |
 |    								    |
 |   With the release of January 2012 data on February 23, 2012,    |
 |   the Mass Layoff Statistics program will update the basis for   |
 |   industry classification from the 2007 North American	    |
 |   Industry Classification System (NAICS) to the 2012 NAICS.	    |
 |   The new conversion reflects definitional changes within the    |
 |   utilities, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and   |
 |   retail trade sectors. Several industry titles and		    |
 |   descriptions will also be updated. For more information on	    |
 |   the 2012 NAICS update, visit				    |
 |   www.census.gov/epcd/www/naics.html.			    |
 |    								    |
 |__________________________________________________________________|



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