DoL Reports Increased Layoffs In Third Quarter

November 15, 2001 ( - The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 1,689 mass layoff actions by employers resulting in the loss of nearly 350,000 jobs in the third quarter of 2001.

Both the total number of layoff events and the number of terminated positions were sharply higher than July-September 2000.

This marks the fourth consecutive quarter of significant increases in extended mass layoff activity. For the first three quarters of 2001, layoffs hovered around 1.8 million, up from nearly 740,000 during the same period last year and slightly more than the total for all of 2000.

Lack of demand for employers’ products and services accounted for 28% of all layoffs equaling more than 84,000 layoffs. Permanent closure of worksites accounted for 18% of layoffs, displacing nearly 75,000 workers, up from more than 40,000 in the third quarter of 2000.

Attack Fallout

In the first report since September 11, 55,000 workers were reported laid off for reasons related directly or indirectly to the attacks. Additionally, 21 states reported extended mass layoff activity related in some way to the events. Of these, 74% of the layoffs and 77% of the job terminations occurred in five states: California, Nevada, Illinois, Texas and New York.

More than half of the workers initially laid off in response to the events were in the air transportation and hotel industries. Around 28,000 workers lost their jobs in the air transporation industry while nearly 18,000 were let go in the hotel industry.