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Extended mass layoffs and occupational employment, 1999–2008

July 07, 2011

A study of employers that experienced an extended mass layoff between 1999 to 2008 showed that the largest number of jobs lost after a layoff were in occupations that involved clerical or nonanalytical labor—including occupational groups such as production (−119,373), office and administrative support (−72,532), and transportation and material moving (−40,043).

Net change in employment after extended mass layoff, by occupational group, 1999-2008
[Chart data]

The occupational groups that had the largest percent declines in employment were production (−21.3 percent), protective service (−20.4 percent), sales and related occupations (−19.7 percent), office and administrative support (−19.1 percent), and management (−18.7 percent).

Despite extended mass layoffs within their employers from 1999–2008, the employment grew in some occupational groups including healthcare practitioners and technical (7,920), food preparation and serving related (3,463), healthcare support (1,591), and education, training, and library (1,077) occupations.

From 1999-2008, the occupational groups with the highest percent growth among firms with mass layoffs were legal occupations (17.8 percent), healthcare practitioners and technical (10.9 percent), and healthcare support (8.3 percent) occupations.

These data are from the Mass Layoff Statistics and Occupational Employment Statistics programs; the data are not weighted to represent all layoffs during the 1999–2008 time period. An extended mass layoff is defined as a layoff of at least 31 days in duration and involving 50 or more individuals from a single establishment filing initial claims for unemployment insurance during a consecutive 5-week period. To learn more, see "How occupational employment is affected by mass layoffs", by Dina Itkin and Laurie Salmon in the June 2011 issue of the Monthly Labor Review.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Extended mass layoffs and occupational employment, 1999–2008 at (visited May 21, 2024).

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