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Mass layoffs fall at record pace

Employers initiated 1,564 mass layoff events in the first quarter of 2010 that resulted in the separation of 221,150 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days, according to preliminary figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Both events and separations decreased by record amounts from the same period a year earlier, when layoffs and associated separated workers reached program highs.

Seventeen of 18 major industry sectors in the private non-farm economy registered sharp declines over the year in the number of extended mass layoff events, with 12 industries registering record declines in the number of events.

Forty-two percent of employers expected to recall at least some laid-off workers, up from 25 percent a year earlier.

First quarter 2010 layoff data are preliminary and are subject to revision.

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