Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release, Mass Layoffs Summary, August 15, 2008
"In the second quarter of 2008, employers initiated 1,534 mass layoff events that resulted in the separation of 299,886 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days, according to preliminary figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Both layoff events and separations reached their highest levels for the second quarter since 2003. The total number of layoff events was 113 higher in the second quarter of 2008 than the same period a year earlier, and the number of associated separations increased by 21,167. Second quarter 2008 layoff data are preliminary and are subject to revision.
Mass layoff activity in professional and technical services and in finance and insurance reached second quarter program highs in 2008. Layoffs in professional and technical services were due largely to seasonal job cuts in tax preparation services. Finance and insurance layoffs continued to be concentrated in credit intermediation and related activities, largely in the real estate credit industry."