Unemployment, Just How Bad Is It?

By
Real Estate Agent with InActive Agent

unemployment

Seems each day I read the paper or watch the news more and more people are losing jobs, and businesses closing. I decided I really wanted to see the cold hard numbers for myself, and get a clear picture of just what's gone on in the U.S. over the last year. 

I spent some time on the Department of Labors website pouring through the Bureau of Labor Statistics massive data base. Here is what I've learned, and it's not pretty. Keep in mind as you look at these numbers, a "mass layoff action" means at least 50 people were laid off.

January 2008: employers took 1,438 mass layoff actions; number of workers involved totaled 144,111. The number of initial claims due to mass layoffs increased for five consecutive months; 427 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, resulting in 55,488 initial claims.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in January (38,715), reflecting layoffs in administrative and support services. Other states with large numbers of mass layoff-related claims were New York (18,636), Alabama (10,160), Pennsylvania (9,644), Ohio (9,352), and Illinois (9,106). 

February 2008: employers took 1,672 mass layoff actions; the number of workers involved totaled 177,374.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in February (32,747), followed by Pennsylvania (8,204), Florida (6,572), Illinois (6,344), and New York (5,912).  These five states accounted for 56 percent of all mass layoff events and 50 percent of all initial claims for unemployment insurance in February.

March 2008: employers took 1,571 mass layoff actions, the number of workers involved totaled 157,156. The manufacturing sector accounted for 31 percent of all mass layoff events and 38 percent of all related initial claims filed.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in March (21,812), followed by Pennsylvania (12,745), Wisconsin (7,067), Illinois (6,694), and Ohio (6,236).  These five states accounted for 51 percent of all mass layoff events and 42 percent of all initial claims for unemployment insurance in March.

April 2008: employers took 1,308 mass layoff actions, the number of workers involved totaled 133,914. The manufacturing sector accounted for 31 percent of all mass layoff events and 37 percent of initial claims filed.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in April with 28,172, followed by Michigan (11,156), New York (7,539), and Pennsylvania (7,506). 

May 2008, employers took 1,626 mass layoff actions, the number of workers involved totaled 171,387. The manufacturing sector accounted for 25 percent of all mass layoff events and 32 percent of initial claims filed.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in May with 34,085, largely due to layoffs in motion picture and sound recording industries and in administrative and support services.  The next highest states reporting mass layoff initial claims were New York (9,613), Pennsylvania (8,975), Florida (8,841), and Kentucky (8,666).

June 2008: employers took 1,643 mass layoff actions, the number of workers involved totaled 165,697. The manufacturing sector accounted for 40 percent of all mass layoff events and 54 percent of initial claims filed.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in June with 44,754, largely due to layoffs in educational services and in administrative and support services.  The states reporting the next highest number of mass layoff initial claims were Pennsylvania (14,835), Florida (10,751), and New Jersey (9,512).

July 2008: employers took 1,512 mass layoff actions, the number of workers involved totaled 151,171. The manufacturing sector accounted for 40 percent of all mass layoff events and 54 percent of initial claims filed.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in July with 33,250, largely due to layoffs in administrative and support services and in educational services. The next highest numbers of mass layoff initial claims were in Michigan (27,672), Ohio (19,402), and Kentucky (11,907).

August 2008: employers took 1,772 mass layoff actions, the number of workers involved totaled 173,955. The manufacturing sector accounted for 29 percent of all mass layoff events and 37 percent of initial claims filed.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in August with 36,120, largely due to layoffs in administrative and support services and in motion picture and sound recording industries.  The states with the next highest numbers of mass layoff initial claims were New York (10,760), Florida (9,849), and Ohio (7,994).

September 2008: employers took 2,269 mass layoff actions, number of workers involved totaled 235,681. The manufacturing sector accounted for 28 percent of all mass layoff events and 36 percent of initial claims filed.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in September with 34,584.  The next highest states reporting mass layoff initial claims were Louisiana (14,929) and Texas (10,616). Six states reached program highs in 2008 for the month of September; Indiana, Ohio, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 

Thirty-five states registered over-the-year increases in initial claims associated with mass layoffs, led by Louisiana (+14,366), California (+13,440), and Texas (+8,010).  The effects of Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana and of Hurricane Ike in Texas contributed to the higher September 2008 layoff activity in those two states.

October 2008: employers took 2,140 mass layoff actions, the number of workers involved totaled 232,468. The manufacturing sector accounted for 32 percent of all mass layoff events and 45 percent of initial claims filed.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in October with 51,286.  The next highest states reporting mass layoff initial claims were Ohio (17,764) and Michigan (16,851). 

Twelve states reached program highs in average weekly initial claims in 2008 for the month of October; Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Utah, and Wyoming. 

November 2008: employers took 2,328 mass layoff actions, the number of workers involved totaled 224,079. The manufacturing sector accounted for 39 percent of all mass layoff events and 45 percent of initial claims filed.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in November with 47,690.  The states with the next highest number of mass layoff initial claims were Michigan (14,657), Wisconsin (13,966), and Indiana (13,420).

In 2008, 15 states reached program highs in average weekly initial claims for the month of November; Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, and Tennessee. 

December 2008: employers took 2,275 mass layoff actions, the number of workers involved totaled 226,117.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in December with 43,265.  The states with the next highest number of mass layoff initial claims were Ohio (27,836), Illinois (25,885), and Michigan (24,508). 

In January 2009 employers took 2,227 mass layoff actions that resulted in the separation of 237,902 workers. In January, 738 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, resulting in 102,577 initial claims.

During the 14 months from December 2007 through January 2009, the total number of mass layoff events was 25,712, and the number of initial claims was 2,632,336.

(December 2007 was the start of a recession as designated by the National Bureau of Economic Research.)

In February 2009, employers took 2,769 mass layoff actions involving 295,477 workers. Mass layoff events increased by 542 from January, and initial claims increased by 57,575. Layoff events for all industries and for the manufacturing sector rose to their highest levels on record. Thirty states reached program highs in average weekly initial claims.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in January with 54,153.  The states with the next highest number of mass layoff initial claims were New York (31,893), Pennsylvania (29,656), and Ohio (27,971).

In 2009, 18 states reached program highs in average weekly initial claims for the month of January; Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Employers took 2,769 mass layoff actions in February that resulted in the separation of 295,477.

So as anyone can see by looking through these numbers, we're far from being out of the recession. Please keep in mind; these are only the "mass layoff" stats, which don't include terminations of fewer than 50 people BYone employer.

Each month, states report on employers which have at least 50 initial claims filed against them during a consecutive 5-week period.  These employers then are contacted by the state agency to determine whether these separations lasted 31 days or longer, and, if so, other information concerning the layoff is collected. States report on layoffs lasting more than 1 month on a quarterly basis.

Comments (2)

Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Michael, I just stumbled on this post and am thinking about listening to Fox News blast the Obama administration last night because the last reported unemployment figures were somewhere around 85,000!

Jan 09, 2010 01:44 AM
Michael Creel
InActive Agent - Bellevue, WA

I left the US almost two years ago to work overseas because I suspected the bottom was about to fall out of everything as we knew it in the US. The first year I spent in Iraq working as a contractor, and I've been in Afghanistan since June.

It really irked me to see that 80% of the workforce in Afganistan (contract workers) are from the Balkans, not the US. Almost all of the billions being spent in US tax dollars for the Afghanistan effort is going in the pockets of Bosnian workers.

It just seems to me that no matter where the US citizen goes to make a living, others get preference when it comes to contract jobs.

The world has seen us as wealthy and lazy for so long, even our own government would prefer to hire a foreign worker over us. We may very well be a dying breed.

Maybe we we no longer have any money to pay taxes they will realize their errors. I'm sure the new health care reform will take a huge chunk of what I do manage to make, and I'm about as far from a US hospital as one can get.

I should have been a Banker.

Jan 09, 2010 11:23 AM

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