People lost their jobs in droves in the first quarter, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics in a truly stunning and depressing report out today. Mass layoffs due to slack business conditions set a program high since the BLS started keeping track in 1996 and mass layoffs due to financial conditions set a first quarter record. Both categories more than tripled since the first quarter of 2008. Just over one in four employers said they plan to recall at least some workers -- still that's the lowest in the history of these stats.
More than half a million workers lost their jobs in the 3,489 mass layoff events -- that's a 160 people, average, per layoff. Horrible. A year ago, 230,098 lost their jobs in 1,340 first-quarter mass layoffs. The number of mass layoffs reached program highs in 12 out 18 business sectors.
Here are a few more numbers:
Twenty of those mass layoffs occurred because 3,466 jobs were moved out of the country. I'm not happy about that.