Business Functions and Processes in Extended Mass Layoffs in the First Quarter 2011

Employers initiated 1,397 extended mass layoff events in the first quarter of 2011 that resulted in the separation of 190,895 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days, according to preliminary figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Extended mass layoff events related to nonseasonal economic reasons totaled 1,016 and involved the separation of 140,888 workers. More complete information on first quarter 2011 extended mass layoffs can be obtained from the news release (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/mslo_05112011.htm).

The total number of business functions reported by employers in nonseasonal layoff events in the first quarter was 1,926, a decrease from 2,563 business functions a year earlier. This decrease of 25 percent was lower than the 30 percent over-the-year decrease in nonseasonal extended mass layoff events, suggesting that more functions were involved in extended mass layoff activity than a year ago.

Construction activities and producing goods were cited most often by employers as the main business function—that which involves the most laid-off workers—involved in first quarter nonseasonal extended mass layoffs. Secondary functions most often reported by employers for layoff were administrative and clerical support, general management, and first-line supervision. (See table 1.)

Business processes affected by extended mass layoffs during the first quarter numbered 1,805, down from 2,224 a year earlier. Over the year, the number of reports decreased in 4 of the 6 core processes. All three support processes involved in layoffs also decreased. In the first quarter of 2011, the largest number of processes per event occurred in layoffs due to financial issues. (See table 2.)

The most common process affected by nonseasonal extended mass layoffs in the first quarter of 2011 was operations—the process most directly related to the key activity of the establishment. Support processes involved in nonseasonal extended mass layoffs declined by 39 percent in goods-producing industries and by 35 percent in service-providing industries. (See table 3.)

 

Last Modified Date: June 1, 2011