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Mass layoffs hit year-plus low

Employers took 1,797 mass layoff actions in November that resulted in the separation of 165,346 workers, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

The number of mass layoff events in November decreased by 330 from the prior month, and the number of associated initial claims decreased by 51,836, to their lowest levels since July 2008. However, year-to-date mass layoff events (27,669) and initial claims (2,792,736) both recorded program highs for a January-to-November period.

In November, 481 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted, resulting in 56,243 initial claims. Both the number of events and initial claims in manufacturing decreased over the month.

During the 24 months from Dec. 2007 through Nov. 2009, the total number of mass layoff events (seasonally adjusted) was 51,154, and the number of initial claims filed (seasonally adjusted) in those events was 5,187,170.

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