More mass job casualties in ‘Tech Wreck’ than ‘Great Recession’

Newly released data from the New England Information Office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the so-called “Great Recession” of 2008 was severe and abrupt in its impact on jobs – but not nearly as bad as the “Tech Wreck” of 2001-2002.Some 7,214 mass layoff claims — when at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance are filed against a single employer during a five-week period – were filed in New Hampshire in 2010, according to the bureau. In 2009, at the height of the most severe recession since the Great Depression, 8,548 initial claims were filed due to mass layoffs.By contrast, 10,903 New Hampshire mass layoff claims were filed in 2001, and more than 8,000 in 2002 during a shorter-lived recession that primarily targeted high-tech firms.Through the 1996-2010 study period, mass layoff claims in New Hampshire typically fell between 3,000 and 4,000.Reporting the most initial claims due to a mass layoff in 2010 was the transportation and warehousing sector, with 3,030 reported initial claims – 42 percent of all the mass layoff claims in 2010.It was the second-largest number of jobs lost in a single industry since the BLS began keeping statistics in 1996.Only the computer and electronic products manufacturing sector lost more during the 15-year time frame, shedding 4,082 jobs in 2001.By comparison, the professional services, financial services, education and health-care sectors had no mass layoff claims recorded in New Hampshire during the 15-year period.The first quarter of 2011 looks promising. According to preliminary data from the BLS, there were 322 New Hampshire claims due to mass layoff in the first quarter of 2011, compared to 407 in the first quarter of 2010, and 616 in the fourth quarter of 2010. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW<

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