Thursday, January 28, 2010

Michigan is among Top 5 states for 2009 mass layoffs

Although Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 14.6 percent, it does not top the list for the most mass layoffs in 2009.

California suffered the largest number of mass layoffs with Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio rounding out the top five, as reported by the Detroit News.

Nationwide mass layoffs — firings by a single company of 50 or more employees, whether temporary or permanent — reached 28,030. The Detroit News reported this is the highest number of mass layoffs recorded since 1996, when records of mass firings were first kept. About 2.8 million workers nationwide lost their jobs during last year’s layoffs, according to new government data released Wednesday.

Michigan’s mass layoffs increased 12 percent in 2009, after spiking to a 23 percent increase in 2008. Although the percentage of mass layoffs is down from 2008, the Detroit News reported the average number of laid-off workers per mass layoff increased from 31 in 2008 to 140 workers in 2009.

According to the Detroit News, 2001 was the only year worse for Michigan due to the recession and terrorist attacks that year.

While this data shows how many workers lost jobs in the mass layoffs, it does not state how many of those layoffs were temporary or permanent.

"My gut says that were getting more permanent downsizing than we had in 2001," economist Don Grimes of the University of Michigan's Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy told the Detroit News. For more information from The Detroit News:

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