Fewer mass layoffs in 2002

April 10, 2003

During 2002, 20,269 mass layoff events occurred in the nation, resulting in 2,244,631 initial claims filings for unemployment insurance. In 2001, there were 21,467 events and 2,514,862 claims.

Number of mass layoff events by year, 1996-2002
[Chart data—TXT]

The number of initial claims filed in 2002 due to mass layoffs was higher in the West, 745,638, than in any other region. The smallest number of mass-layoff initial claims was reported in the Northeast region, 338,965. Over-the-year, however, decreases in mass-layoff initial claims occurred in each of the four regions, with the largest decline in the Midwest.

Manufacturing accounted for 35 percent of all mass layoff events and 40 percent of initial claims filed during 2002. A year earlier, manufacturing accounted for 42 percent of events and 49 percent of claims. Within manufacturing, filings were most numerous in transportation equipment, food production, machinery manufacturing, and computer and electronic products.

These data from the Mass Layoff Statistics program. Each mass layoff event involves at least 50 persons from a single establishment. For more information, see news release USDL 03-165, "Mass Layoffs in January-February 2003 and Annual Averages for 2002" (PDF) (TXT). Note: This news release marks the resumption of the Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program. It was discontinued as of December 31, 2002, due to a lack of funding. However, funds for the MLS resumption were contained in H.J. Res. 2, the Omnibus Appropriation Bill, signed into law on February 20, 2003.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Fewer mass layoffs in 2002 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2003/apr/wk1/art04.htm (visited September 28, 2016).


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