Your Monthly Grim Reaper: BLS Mass Layoffs for Feb, 2006

Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 08:53 AM

BLS's report on Feb, 2006 mass layoffs just came out.

The highlights:

In February 2006, employers took 1,073 mass layoff actions, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Each action involved at least 50 persons from a single establishment, and the number of workers involved totaled 111,468, on a seasonally adjusted basis. (See table 1.) The number of layoff events fell by 40 from January 2006, and was the lowest for any month since October 2000. The number of initial claims due to mass layoff actions increased by 3,090 over the month.

In the manufacturing sector, 321 mass layoff events were reported during February 2006, seasonally adjusted, resulting in 45,073 initial claims. Both figures were higher than a month earlier.

In February 2006, the national unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, seasonally adjusted, compared with 4.7 percent in January 2006 and 5.4 percent in February 2005.

Temporary help services, with 5,339 initial claims, and light truck and utility vehicle manufacturing, with 3,994, together accounted for 14 percent of all initial claims in February.

Geez, how bad are things when the mass layoffs in the "Temporary Help Services" start making the highlight list? Next thing you know, they'll find a way to fire the unemployed, just to keep in practice and make sure their heads are in the right place.

And the long term picture really sucks. Updating an earlier piece on how many mass layoffs have been announced from 1996 to now:
Total Initial Claimants as a Result of the Mass Layoffs

1996 1,437,628

Total, 1995-11/05 17,956,311

Add for
Dec, 2005 149,565
Jan, 2006 108,378
Feb, 2006 111,468
For an added 369,411

or a total of 18,325,722

And the mass layoffs go back well before 1996. In all likelihood, from 1990 to now we've "mass layoff'd" the equivalent of the entire ploulation of Afghanistan...maybe Iraq.