Employers took 1,609 mass layoff actions in July that resulted in the separation of 143,703 workers, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on August 20. Each action involved at least 50 persons from a single employer. The number of mass layoff events in July decreased by 38 from the prior month, and the number of associated initial claims decreased by 1,835. In July, 307 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted, resulting in 33,381 initial claims.

During the 32 months from December 2007 through July 2010, the total number of mass layoff events (seasonally adjusted) was 63,461, and the associated number of initial claims was 6,357,583. (December 2007 was the start of a recession as designated by the National Bureau of Economic Research.)

The national unemployment rate was 9.5 percent in July 2010, seasonally adjusted, unchanged from the prior month and essentially unchanged from 9.4 percent a year earlier. In July, total non-farm payroll employment decreased by 131,000 over the month and by 52,000 from a year earlier.

Industry Distribution (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
The number of mass layoff events in July was 2,124 on a not seasonally adjusted basis; the number of associated initial claims was 206,254. Over the year, the number of mass layoff events decreased by 930, and associated initial claims decreased by 130,400. Fourteen of the 19 major industry sectors in the private economy reported over-the-year decreases in initial claims, led by manufacturing, which reached a program low of 64,200 claims for the month of July. (Data began in 1995.)

The manufacturing sector accounted for 25 percent of all mass layoff events and 31 percent of initial claims filed in July. A year earlier, manufacturing made up 37 percent of events and 46 percent of initial claims. Within manufacturing, the number of claimants in July was greatest in transportation equipment and food. Eighteen of the 21 manufacturing subsectors experienced over-the-year decreases in initial claims, led by transportation equipment and machinery.

The six-digit industry with the largest number of initial claims in July was elementary and secondary schools. Of the 10 detailed industries in Table A of the report, school and employee bus transportation reached a program high number of claims for the month of July. This table includes both publicly and privately owned entities.

Geographic Distribution (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
All four regions and eight of the nine divisions experienced over-the-year decreases in initial claims due to mass layoffs in July. Among the census regions, the Midwest and West registered the largest over-the-year declines in initial claims. Of the geographic divisions, the East North Central and the Pacific had the largest over-the-year declines.

California recorded the highest number of initial claims in July, followed by New York, Michigan and Illinois. Thirty-eight states experienced over-the-year decreases in initial claims, led by California and Illinois.

In 2010, Indiana, Kansas, New Hampshire, and Wyoming reached or matched program lows for July in terms of initial claimants, while New Jersey and New York reached program highs for the month.