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First-half mass layoffs highest since 2003

August 22 2008

The seasonally adjusted numbers of mass layoffs and resulting initial unemployment claims for the first six months of 2008 reached their highest since the first half of 2003, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

There were 10,770 mass layoffs in the first six months and 1.1 million related claims for unemployment.

In July alone, there were 1,512 mass layoffs on a seasonally adjusted basis, more than the 1,247 in July 2007. The number of related claims for unemployment rose to 151,171 in July, compared with 127,687 in July 2007.

Temporary help services registered the largest number of unemployment claims related to mass layoffs at 14,068.

A mass layoff action involves at least 50 workers from a single workplace.

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