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July 27, 2001
Mass Layoffs Topped 2,000 in June
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June saw 2,080 mass layoffs, bringing the total for the first half of the year to 9,500, compared to 7,470 for the first half of last year, the U.S. Labor Department announced on Friday.

Each mass layoff involved at least 50 people from a single establishment. The number of workers affected in June totaled 250,359.

The department said the number of layoff events and initial claimants for unemployment insurance were the highest for the month of June since the current counting procedure began in April 1995.

But it cautioned that much of that had to do with a calendar effect, since this June and the previous June each had five weeks.

The data covers mass layoffs of 50 or more workers beginning in a given month, regardless of the duration of the layoffs. The Labor Department said it gathers information on the length of the layoff later and issues it in a quarterly release that reports on mass layoffs lasting more than 30 days. These are referred to as "extended mass layoffs."

Because monthly figures include short-term layoffs of 30 days or less, the sum of the figures for the three months in a quarter will be higher than the quarterly figure for mass layoffs of more than 30 days.

In June 2001, manufacturing industries accounted for 36 percent of all mass layoff events and 47 percent of all initial claims filed. A year earlier, layoffs in manufacturing had accounted for 25 percent of events and 31 percent of initial claims.

Manufacturing industries with the highest number of initial claimants were transportation equipment (26,431, mostly in motor vehicles and car bodies and in parts and accessories), electronic and other electrical equipment (18,636, largely in printed circuit boards and in semiconductors), and textile mill products (11,104, primarily in broadwoven fabric mills.)

Compared with June 2000, 16 of the 20 manufacturing industry groups reported increases in the number of initial claimants.

Services accounted for 25 percent of events and 19 percent of initial claims filed during the month. Layoffs in services were highly concentrated in business services (particularly in help supply services) and in social services (primarily in child day care services). Companies in the help supply services industry, however, are more likely than those in most other industries to lay off workers for fewer than 30 days.

Seven percent of all layoff events and 8 percent of initial claims during the month were in transportation and public utilities, largely in local and interurban passenger transit (school buses). Retail trade accounted for 8 percent of events and claims during the month, mostly in eating and drinking places and in general merchandise stores (department stores).

An additional 9 percent of events and 7 percent of initial claims were in government, largely in educational services (elementary and secondary schools), as the school year ended.

Compared with June 2000, the largest increases in initial claims were reported in electronic and other electrical equipment (+15,185) and in textile mill products (+10,151). The largest over-the-year decreases in initial claims occurred in motion pictures (-5,393) and in agricultural services (-4,733).
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