Good news! Only 108,000 jobs lost to mass layoffs in January

Thursday, February 23, 2006 at 12:29 PM

The monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics release on mass layoffs just came out:

In January 2006, employers took 1,113 mass layoff actions, seasonally adjusted,....the number of workers involved totaled 108,378,
on a seasonally adjusted basis

But, hey, it's good news because:
The number of initial claims due to mass layoff actions declined by 41,187 over the month.

The bad news there? We're comparing this January to December, 2005, and that month had the second highest number of lost jobs in 2004-05.

Another "good" spin is that the January figures are down from Januarys in past years, when there were 131,963 mass layoffs in 2003, 142,704 in 2004, and 153,676 in 2005.

The bad news? The Januarys in 2003 thru 2005 all were based on  five weeks of new claims, while January in 2006 had only 4 weeks of claims.  If you adjust for that by computing a a claims per week figure each of the 4 years, this January's figure is slightly higher than Jan. 2003, and very slightly lower than Jan. 2004 and 2005.