The manufacturing sector accounted for 40% of all mass layoff events and 54% of initial claims filed in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on August 26. Last year, manufacturing made up 43% of the events and 58% of initial claims.
The number of claimants was highest in transportation equipment manufacturing (57,761), followed by fabricated metal products (7,007).
Overall employers took 1,512 mass layoff actions as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month.
The number of mass layoff events this July decreased by 131 from the prior
month, while the number of associated initial claims decreased by 14,526.
From January through July 2008, the total number of mass layoff events
(at 10,770), and initial claims, (at 1,100,810), were the highest for the January-July period since 2003.
Of the 4 census regions, the highest number of initial claims in July due to
mass layoffs was in the Midwest (84,535). The South had the second largest number of initial claims among the regions with 48,440, followed by the West with 41,901 and the Northeast with 25,506.
The national unemployment rate was 5.7% in July, up from 5.5% in the prior month and up from 4.6% a year earlier.