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Fourth-quarter mass layoffs highest since 1995

February 13 2009

Extended mass layoffs in the fourth quarter reached their highest level since 1995, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. There were 3,140 mass layoffs in the fourth quarter with 508,859 workers separated from their jobs for at least 31 days.

Manufacturing firms reported 1,103 mass layoffs separating 185,686 workers from their jobs. The largest number of separations in manufacturing was in auto manufacturing — with 56,341 separations.

In addition, 45% of employers who reported layoffs in the fourth quarter said they anticipate the recall of some workers — the lowest fourth-quarter proportion since 2001.

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