Mass Layoffs Drop In May

The number of mass layoff actions -- those that involve at least 50 people from a single establishment -- in May 2004 was 988, the lowest level for any May since 2000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of workers involved totaled 87,501. The manufacturing sector continued to represent a large portion of those mass layoffs, accounting for 22% of all mass layoff events and 25% of all initial claims filed in May, according to data released June 23. A year ago manufacturing represented 29% of all events and 35% of initial claims. Within the manufacturing sector, the number of claimants was highest in food processing, transportation equipment and textile product mills. The June report of mass layoffs is slated for release on July 22.

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