BLS: “Employers initiated 1,393 mass layoff events in the first quarter of 2011 that resulted in the separation of 190,389 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Extended mass layoff events and separations have decreased over the year for six consecutive quarters. First quarter 2011 layoff data are preliminary and are subject to revision. Forty-nine percent of employers expected to recall at least some laid-off workers, the highest first quarter percentage since 2005 and up from 38 percent in 2010. In the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011, the number of events in the manufacturing sector decreased from 441 to 281, and associated worker separations fell from 60,855 to a series low 37,249. The average size of a layoff (as measured by the number of separations per layoff event) fell to a series low 137 workers during the first quarter of 2011. The national unemployment rate averaged 9.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted, in the first quarter of 2011, down from 10.4 percent a year earlier. Private nonfarm payroll employment, not seasonally adjusted, increased by 1.4 percent (1,448,000) over the year.”
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