WASHINGTON (May 22, 2012) — Employers took 1,388 mass layoff actions in April involving 135,600 workers, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Each mass layoff involved at least 50 workers from a single employer. Mass layoff events in April increased by 115 from March, and the number of associated initial claims increased by 14,290. In April, 287 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted, resulting in 33,243 initial claims.
The national unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in April, little changed from the prior month but down from 9 percent a year earlier. Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 115,000 over the month and by 1,816,000 over the year.
Table A. Six-digit NAICS industries with the largest number of mass layoff initial claims in April 2012, private non-farm, not seasonally adjusted
Industry distributions (not seasonally adjusted)
The number of mass layoff events in April was 1,421, not seasonally adjusted, resulting in 146,358 initial claims for unemployment insurance. Over the year, the number of average weekly mass layoff events increased by 5 to 355, while associated average weekly initial claims decreased by 1,394 to 36,590. Ten 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 manufacturing. In April, the six-digit industry with the largest number of private non-farm initial claims was school and employee bus transportation.
In April, the manufacturing sector accounted for 19 percent of mass layoff events and 23 percent of associated initial claims in the private economy. Within manufacturing, the numbers of mass layoff claimants were highest in food and in transportation equipment. Thirteen of the 21 manufacturing subsectors experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly initial claims, with the largest decrease occurring in transportation equipment.
Geographic distribution (not seasonally adjusted)
Among the census regions, the Northeast registered the largest number of initial claims in April. Two of the 4 regions experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly initial claims, with the largest decrease occurring in the Midwest.
Among the states, California recorded the highest number of mass layoff initial claims in April, followed by New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia experienced over- the-year decreases in average weekly initial claims, led by Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin.