Factory workers have highest risk of displacement

August 26, 2002

A disproportionately large share of displaced workers during the 1999–2001 period had worked in manufacturing jobs. This also has been the case in earlier surveys of worker displacement.

Share of long-tenured displaced workers and share of total long-tenured employment by industry, 1999–2001
[Chart data—TXT]

From January 1999 to December 2001, 1.3 million factory workers were displaced from jobs they had held for at least 3 years—one-third of all long-tenured displaced workers. The proportion of displaced workers in manufacturing was much larger than the industry’s share of total long-tenured employment, which was 19 percent. (Long-tenured displaced workers are those who had worked for their employer for 3 years or more at the time of displacement; long-tenured employees are those who had worked for their current employer for 3 or more years.)

Displacements in wholesale and retail trade (723,000) accounted for 18 percent of all long-tenured workers displaced during the 1999–2001 period. Long-tenured displaced workers in transportation and public utilities (295,000) and in finance, insurance, and real estate (284,000) each accounted for 7 percent of total displacement. In each of these industries, the share of displaced workers slightly exceeded the share of total long-tenured employment.

These data are a product of the Current Population Survey (CPS). Displaced workers are defined as persons aged 20 years and older who lost or left jobs because their plant or company closed or moved, there was insufficient work for them to do, or their position or shift was abolished. Data on long-tenured employment by industry are from the February 2000 CPS. Get more information in Worker Displacement, 1999–2001, news release USDL 02-483.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Factory workers have highest risk of displacement on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2002/aug/wk4/art01.htm (visited January 21, 2017).


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