Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mass layoffs in Colorado hit 4-year low

Mass layoff events fell 5.3 percent to 71 events during the first nine months of 2012 in Colorado. There were 75 mass layoff events during the same period last year. According to a new report released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4 mass layoff events during September 2012 alone, which was down 42 percent from the 7 events reported during September of last year. Comparing the first nine months of each year, both total mass layoffs and first time unemployment have decreased each year since 2009.


Monthly mass layoff events grew rapidly after October 2008 in Colorado, and have gradually declined since. They have fallen off considerably since August 2012.


Nationally, mass layoff events decreased 31.7 percent from 1,189 during September 2011 to 811 during September of this year.

In the year-to-date total for September, mass layoffs have now fallen three years in a row after peaking at 131 mass layoffs during the first nine months of 2009. The second graph shows year-to-date totals for September since 2002:

Mass layoffs were rare from 2004 through most of 2008.

Overall, the most recent mass layoffs data suggests that the employment situation continues to stabilize. New layoffs continue to lessen, but as we've seen in the most recent employment data for Colorado, job growth continues to disappoint and total employment totals remain well below 2008's peak totals.

New jobless claims

New claims for unemployment insurance fell year over year in September by 54 percent to 307 in September 2012. There were 680 new claims during September of last year. New claims for unemployment insurance have also gradually fallen since early 2010. Nationally, new claimants fell 39 percent during the same period.

As can be seen in the third graph, during September new unemployment claims fell year over year in Colorado and nationally. Claims have fallen by more than 50 percent for both August and September 2012, and are some of the largest declines reported since March 2010.


In year-to-date totals for new unemployment claims through September, totals are down 9 percent year over year in Colorado. There were 6936 new claims during the first nine months of 2012, compared to 7626 new claims during the same period last year. In the year-to-date total for September, new claims for unemployment insurance have now fallen three years in a row after peaking at 11,865 claims during the first nine months of 2009. The last graph shows year-to-date totals for September since 2002:


Definitions:
Initial claimant. A person who files any notice of unemployment to initiate a request either for a determination of entitlement to and eligibility for compensation, or for a  subsequent period of unemployment within a benefit year or  period of eligibility. 

Mass layoff event. Fifty or more initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits filed against an employer during a 5-week period, regardless of duration.