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U.S. Mass Layoffs Report for April (Text)

May 22, 2013

Following is the text of the monthly mass layoffs release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employers took 1,199 mass layoff actions in April involving 116,849 workers as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Data are seasonally adjusted.) Each mass layoff involved at least 50 workers from a single employer. Mass layoff events decreased by 138 from March, and the number of associated initial claims decreased by 11,090. In April, 293 mass layoff events occurred in the manufacturing sector resulting in 29,744 initial claims. Monthly mass layoff events are identified using administrative data sources without regard to layoff duration. (See table 1 and the note at the end of this release.)

The national unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in April, essentially unchanged from the prior month and down from 8.1 percent a year earlier. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 165,000 over the month, and increased by 2,077,000 over the year.

Industry Distribution (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

The number of mass layoff events in April was 1,174, not seasonally adjusted, resulting in 119,196 initial claims for unemployment insurance. (See table 2.) Over the year, the number of average weekly mass layoff events for April decreased by 61 to 294, and associated average weekly initial claims decreased by 6,791 to 29,799. Fourteen of the 19 major industry sectors in the private economy reported over-the-year decreases in average weekly initial claims, with the largest decrease occurring in transportation and warehousing. (See table 3.) School and employee bus transportation was the six-digit industry with the largest number of private nonfarm initial claims due to mass layoffs in April. (See table A.)

The manufacturing sector accounted for 22 percent of mass layoff events and associated initial claims in the private economy in April. Within manufacturing, the numbers of mass layoff claimants were highest in food and in machinery. Nine of the 21 manufacturing subsectors experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly initial claims. (See table 3.)

Geographic Distribution (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Among the census regions, the West had the largest number of initial claims due to mass layoffs in April. Three of the 4 regions experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly initial claims, with the largest decrease occurring in the Northeast. (See table 4.)

Among the states, California had the highest number of mass layoff initial claims in April, followed by New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Thirty-one states experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly initial claims, led by New York and New Jersey. (See table 4.)


The monthly data series in this release cover mass layoffs of 50 or more workers beginning in a given month, regardless of the duration of the layoffs. For private nonfarm establishments, information on the length of the layoff is obtained later and issued in a quarterly release that reports on mass layoffs lasting more than 30 days (referred to as “extended mass layoffs”). The quarterly release provides more information on the industry classification and location of the establishment and on the demographics of the laid-off workers. The monthly data series in this release are subjected to average weekly analysis, which mitigates the effect of differing lengths of months. See the Technical Note for more detailed definitions and for a description of average weekly analysis.

The Mass Layoffs news release for May 2013 is scheduled to be released on Friday, June 21, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor

To contact the reporter on this story: Ainhoa Goyeneche in Washington at +1-

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Marco Babic at

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