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US - Mass layoffs lowest since 1996

May 13 2013

Mass layoffs fell in the first quarter of 2013 fell to the lowest first-quarter levels since 1996, when quarterly data first became available, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of mass layoff events — where 50 or more workers are laid off from a single workplace — fell 29.4 percent from the first quarter of 2012.

Mass layoffs fell to 914 in the quarter from 1,294 in last year’s first quarter year prior.

Initial claims for mass layoffs fell 54.2 percent to 133,294 in Q1 2013, compared with 291,174 in the same period last year.

“Manufacturing industries” reported the most initial claims during the quarter with 184 extended mass layoff events and 25,730 initial claims, due to both insufficient demand and the completion of seasonal work.

The construction sector followed with 178 extended mass layoff events and 20,537 initial claims, largely due to contract completion. The “administrative and waste services” industry was third with 143 layoff events and 21,198 initial claims in the first quarter.

The BLS previously announced it will discontinue reporting on mass layoffs effective with the May 2013 data because of across-the-board federal spending cuts because of sequestration.

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