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Extended Mass Layoff Actions in California - 2008

  First Quarter 2008
  Second Quarter 2008
  Third Quarter 2008
  Fourth Quarter 2008
First Quarter 2008

In the first quarter (January-March) of 2008, California employers reported 453 mass layoff events that resulted in the separation of 63,973 workers from their jobs that lasted at least 31 days.  This is an increase of 153 mass layoff events and 24,803 separations compared to the first quarter of 2007.  The most notable job losses were in the construction, manufacturing, and retail trade.

Extended mass layoffs that involve the movement of work within the same company or to a different company, whether domestic or outside of the United States, occurred in 2 percent of the non-seasonal layoff events, which resulted in 1,192 worker separations.  This is slightly higher than the first quarter of 2007 that reported 1 percent in layoff events and 872 separations.

Other significant trends include:

  • Of the employers who anticipated recalling workers, 29 percent expected to extend the offer to all affected workers.  This is a higher percentage recall rate from the previous year, which was 17 percent.

  • Permanent worksite closures occurred in 2 percent of all events, and affected 2,686 workers.  This is the same percentage of events as the first quarter of 2007, but resulted in 1,150 more separations.
The most common reasons given for the verified layoffs are as follows:

  • Twenty four percent of the employers reported 'completed contracts' as the reason for layoffs that resulted in 11,791 separations.

  • Nineteen percent of employers reported layoffs due to 'slack work/insufficient demand/non-seasonal business slow down' which resulted in 8,704 separations.

  • Ten percent of the employers reported 'seasonal' as the reason for layoffs that resulted in 9,753 separations.

  • Nine percent of employers reported layoffs due to internal company restructuring (bankruptcy, business ownership change, financial difficulty, and/or reorganization) which resulted in 9,266 separations.
A number of improvements in the collection of Extended Mass Layoffs data were implemented in the first quarter 2007.  The data on economic reasons have been enhanced by developing more descriptive reasons and clarifying definitions.  Four new reasons for layoffs were added:

  • domestic competition
  • excess inventory/saturated marketplace
  • hazardous work environment
  • cost control/cost cutting/increase profitability
Further information on the New Reasons Classification can be found online.

The California Employment Development Department's Labor Market Information Division operates the Mass Layoff Statistics Program through a cooperative agreement with the BLS.  You may find out more information about the MLS Program online.

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