Food and transportation-equipment sectors reported the highest numbers.
The number of mass layoffs in manufacturing declined in May, on both a seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted basis, compared with the same month one year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The number of mass layoffs in manufacturing was 264 in May, seasonally adjusted, compared with 374 in the previous year, data from the Labor Departments Bureau of Labor Statistics show. That number accounted for 19% of the total mass-layoff actions in May.
A mass layoff is defined as involving at least 50 workers from a single employer, regardless of duration.
Data unadjusted for seasonal variation showed 186 mass layoffs in manufacturing during May, down from 270 in 2011. That is 15% of the total number of mass layoffs and 17% of mass layoffs in the private sector.
Within manufacturing, food had the highest number of May mass layoffs, at 48 on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, followed by transportation equipment at 19.
The 186 mass layoffs in May represented the lowest number in manufacturing in the past five years. However, workers engaged in manufacturing filed 18,800 initial claims for unemployment in May, ahead of the 16,555 initial claimants who filed in February 2012, when there were 196 mass layoff events in manufacturing.