In January employers had 1,237 mass layoffs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department. The number of total workers involved was 126,368. This number is an increase of 36 more mass layoffs than December. A mass layoff is defined as a layoff of at least 50 employees from a single establishment.
Manufacturers incurred 389 mass layoffs resulting in 51,141 initial claims. Compared with the prior month, mass layoff activity in manufacturing decreased by 1 event and by 2,687 initial claims.
The manufacturing sector accounted for 32% of all mass layoffs and 40% of all related initial claims filed in January; a year earlier, manufacturing made up 27% of events and 30% of initial claims.
In January 2007, the number of manufacturing claimants was highest in transportation equipment manufacturing (22,315, mostly in motor vehicle manufacturing), followed by food manufacturing (4,525) and woodproduct manufacturing (4,342).
The national unemployment rate was 4.6% in January essentially unchanged from the prior month (4.5%) and from a year earlier (4.7%).