Sept. Mass Layoffs Rise 41% on Year

October 26, 2001 ( - Some 1,316 mass layoff events, involving 50 or more employees, occurred in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And new filings for unemployment insurance benefits over the month showed that the number of workers involved totaled 158,859, the highest for the month of September since the series began in 1995.

In comparison, over the same month last year, the number of mass layoff events totaled 936 and involved 106,842 workers.

Year to date, the total number of events stands at 14,405, compared to 10,490 last year, while initial claims have hit 1,723,176, substantially higher than last year’s 1,188,580.
In comparison, mass layoff events totaled 2,108 involving 272,308 workers in July, and 1,474 involving 163,263 in August.

September 11 Effect

The mass layoff data for September includes initial claims filings that took place in the weeks following the terrorist attacks of September 11. During the 3 weeks after the attacks, 1,013 mass layoff events occurred that involved 117,711 workers.

Although it is not possible to determine which claims filings can be directly or indirectly attributed to the attacks, at present, it is clear that claims filings in scheduled air transportation and in hotels and motels are likely to be related to the attacks.

Between January and August this year, 18 layoff events and 1,523 initial claimants were reported in the scheduled air transportation industry, while in September alone, there were 29 events and 6,152 initial claimants in this industry. Airlines that announced mass payroll cuts in September include:

  • American Airlines, which cut 20,000 jobs,
  • Continental, which eliminated 12,000 jobs, and
  • Delta, which gave 13,000 workers the axe.

In hotels and motels, 189 events and 15,653 initial claimants were registered over the January to August period, while in September, another 123 events and 20,648 claimants were attributed to this industry