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Mass Layoffs Down In California

California had the country’s highest number of initial “mass layoff” claims last year, meaning layoffs involving at least 50 workers.

Aired 7/24/12 on KPBS News.

New figures show mass layoffs last year in California were the lowest in four years.

But the state also led the nation in year-over-year declines. In fact, 2011 was the second-straight year that claims have dropped in California.

Todd Johnson is an economist with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which released the numbers. He says several industries recorded fewer layoffs. “Manufacturing decreased by about 7,000 or so employees, construction likewise decreased and retail trade had actually a very large drop in the number of layoffs.”

Sectors that posted the most layoffs include: administrative services and local governments.

All told, California employers took nearly 4400 “mass layoff actions” in 2011, the lowest number since 2007. Those “actions” affected more than 377,413 workers.

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