Temp Cuts Lead Mass Layoffs Lower

May 30, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - There were 1,507 mass layoff actions in April involving at least 50 workers from a single company, with cuts in temporary workforces leading the way, new statistics show.

Some 165,861 workers were involved in the actions, according to April data from the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) represented a 6% drop over a year earlier – the third consecutive month of year-over-year layoff declines.

However measured year to date, initial claims in the January to April 2002 period were 730,002 – up from 720,982 a year earlier.

Manufacturing Mass

A third of April’s mass layoff events and worker initial claims came from the manufacturing sector – down from 42% of layoff events and 45% of claims a year earlier.
The administrative and waste services sector accounted for 12% of events and 11% of initial claims filed during April.

Some 7% of all layoff events and 9% of initial claims filed during the month were in transportation and warehousing, mostly in transit and ground passenger transportation (school and employee bus transportation).
Compared with April 2001, the largest decreases in initial claims were in administrative and support services and transportation equipment manufacturing, the BLS said.
Geographic Distribution
The highest number of initial claims in April due to mass layoffs was in the West at 54,426.  Temporary help services, motion picture and video production, and farm labor contractors and crew leaders accounted for 23% of all initial claims in the West during the month. 

Following was the Northeast with 38,576 initial claims (mainly in school and employee bus transportation), the Midwest with 37,119 (largely in temporary help services), and the South with 35,740 (mostly in temporary help services and industrial building construction).
Of the individual states, California registered the largest number of initial claims filed in mass layoff events this April, 39,943, mostly in temporary help services and motion picture and video production.  New York reported 17,889 initial claims in mass layoffs, followed by

  • Texas at 9,845,
  • Illinois at 9,583,
  • Ohio at 9,034,
  • Pennsylvania at 8,985.