During December, 390 mass layoffs occurred in the manufacturing sector according to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Jan. 26. A mass layoff is defined as having at least 50 people from a single company filing for unemployment insurance. Both the number of layoffs and the number of initial claims in manufacturing were lower in December than a month earlier.
The manufacturing sector accounted for 33% of all mass layoff events and 41% of all related initial claims filed in December compared to last year when manufacturing comprised 30% of events and 38% initial claims.
Transportation saw the most layoffs -- 38, 811, mostly in motor vehicle manufacturing, followed by food manufacturing (8,557), and wood products manufacturing (6,359.)
The total number of mass layoffs in December was 1,201 with the number of employees involved totaling 133,818.This is a decrease of 19 mass layoffs from November.
Looking at the numbers from particular states, California had the highest number of initial claims filed due to mass layoff events in December (34,848), followed by Michigan (22,842), Illinois (17,195), Kentucky (15,975), and Ohio (15,848). These five states accounted for 40% of all mass layoff events and 42% of all associated initial claims for unemployment insurance.
The national unemployment rate was 4.5% in December, unchanged from the prior month and down from 4% a year earlier.