Mass layoffs declined in August

Posted: September 21, 2007

Mass layoffs across the nation in August declined compared to July as did associated initial filings for unemployment compensation, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said today.

Mass layoffs are layoffs involving more than 50 people from a single employer.

In August, employers took 1,189 mass layoffs, affecting 118,120 workers, according to the bureau.

In July, 124,835 workers were affected by 1,221 events.

As usual, and partly because of its size, Pennsylvania was one of the top five states reporting mass layoff events. Pennsylvania had 52 mass layoffs, down from 72 in July and down slightly from 53 in August 2006.

In New Jersey, there were 32 mass layoff events, down from 42 in July, but up from 24 in August 2006.

As usual, manufacturing shed jobs in mass layoffs, but the number of mass layoffs in manufacturing declined in August compared to July.

However, the longer view is not as encouraging.

The industry with the highest number of initial claims in August was temporary help services. When hiring in temporary help declines, it is sometimes a signal that the economy is slowing, as companies lay off temps to protect fulltime workers.

Also, the number of mass layoff events, seasonally adjusted, from January through August, rose, totaling 9,843, up from 9,063 in the same period in 2006. Initial claims also rose year-to-year to 1,016,492, up from 951,202.

Contact staff writer Jane M. Von Bergen at 215-854-2769 or

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