Mass layoffs in August

September 26, 2003

Employers initiated 1,258 mass layoff actions in August 2003, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month. Each action involved at least 50 persons from a single establishment, and the number of workers involved totaled 133,839.

Mass layoff initial claimants for unemployment insurance, August, 1995 - 2003
[Chart data—TXT]

Compared with August 2002, the number of initial claims due to mass layoffs increased, marking the first over-the-year increase in this series since May 2002. From January through August 2003, the number of initial claims was lower than for the same period a year ago.

The manufacturing sector accounted for 39 percent of all mass-layoff initial claims filed in August. Within manufacturing, the number of claimants was highest in transportation equipment, followed by textile mills, machinery, and food manufacturing.

The administrative and waste services sector accounted for 12 percent of initial claims associated with mass layoffs in August, with layoffs mostly in temporary help services. The retail trade, information, and transportation and warehousing sectors each accounted for 7 percent.

These data are from the Mass Layoff Statistics program. Data for August 2003 are preliminary and subject to revision. For more information, see news release, "Mass Layoffs in August 2003" (PDF) (TXT), USDL 03-506.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Mass layoffs in August on the Internet at (visited September 30, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.