Mass Layoffs on the Mend in Q2

August 14, 2002 ( - While there were 1,754 mass layoffs covering 392,338 people during the second quarter of 2002, the figures represent a continued improvement from the year before.

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said both the number of layoffs and how many workers they covered came in below those from the second quarter of 2001.

BLS said the completion of seasonal work was the major reason for extended layoffs in the second quarter, accounting for 34% of all layoffs and 162,487 separations.

Permanent closure of worksites occurred in 15% of all layoffs and affected 67,114 workers, down sharply from 136,597 workers in April-June 2001, according to the BLS. Some 53% of the employers with layoffs in the second quarter indicated that they anticipated some type of recall, 8% higher than a year ago.

Of the economy’s individual sectors, manufacturing industries accounted for 28% of private-sector layoff layoffs and 24% of all workers leaving jobs during April-June 2002.  A year earlier, manufacturing accounted for 41% of private-sector layoffs and 35% of separations.

The BLS said retail trade accounted for 6% of private-sector layoff layoffs and 10% of all separations, with concentrations in general merchandise stores and food and beverage stores.

Layoffs in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting made up 7% of layoffs and 9% of separations, Some 3% of layoffs and 7% of separations were in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector.

Cutbacks in transportation and warehousing accounted for an additional 8% of layoffs and 7%  of separations. Extended mass layoffs in administrative and waste services also were 8% of layoffs and 7% of separations.