Layoffs Highest Since Start of BLS Studies

November 30, 2001 ( - A total of 212,695 workers lost their jobs in October as a result of 1,816 mass layoffs in the US - the highest for October since the employment studies began in 1995, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS, which defines mass layoffs as staff reductions involving at least 50 workers from the same employer, noted that the figure was significantly higher than the same period a year ago.

Last year’s count included 874 layoff events with 103,755 workers let go – almost half this month’s tally.

The figures, as measured by new filings of unemployment benefit claims, are also up from September’s totals of 158,859 workers in 1,316 layoff events.

The year-to-date number of layoff events for 2001 now stands at 16,221, with initial benefit claims at 1,935,871 – substantially higher than in January-October 2000, at 11,364 and 1,292,335, respectively.


  • manufacturing industries accounted for 40% of all mass layoff events
  • services accounted for 25%
  • retail trade for 8%
  • construction accounted for an additional 5%.