Friday, September 23, 2011

What are Mass Layoff Actions

Toward the beginning of every month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases its report of what official unemployment is.  The press reports it and if its positive, everyone trumpets it as 'recovery', and if its poor, its quickly ignored.

The BLS also releases other economic reports throughout the moth that give a good guide to the state of the nation in terms of the employment picture.  For instance, yesterday September 22, it released its monthly Mass Layoffs Summary.

When an employer lets go/fires 50 or more employees at one time, it is called a mass layoff action.  In July, there were 1,579 separate actions, meaning over 1,500 different employers dumped 50 or more workers at a given moment for their own economic benefit.  In August, the figure rose by 8 -- 1,587.  

Based on new applications for unemployment benefit insurance,  the August actions resulted specifically in 165,547 losing their jobs in August who were working in July.  Remember, this is not counting anyone who lost their jobs based on 49 or less people being fired by an employer at one time.

There Are solutions to combat the joblessness problem here in the US.  In fact we've specified in previous postings what needs to occur, most recently here: "Happy Market Day & How to Really Create Jobs"

Problem is at its always been..  its really not in any political leader or corporation's incentive to do it.  Certainly a politician wants votes and logic dictates improved employment means re-election, but sometimes its not a question of giving people what they want and need, but instead 'When'.  Example:  In mid 1991, when Operation Desert Storm ended, President George Bush Sr. had an approval rating of 91%.  Yes... 91%.   And 12-15 months later he was defeated in 1992 by Bill Clinton, unable to muster even 40% of the votes in a 3-man race.  People forgot Desert Storm-- their focus was immediate concerns of the day.

If there's any chance of real job creation and improvement in the unemployment numbers (and really that depends a lot on whether we can economically survive the rest of 2011), expect it next year when both parties will be dangling jobs and prosperity like candy to babies... then expect those temporary jobs to disappear once again in 2013 when economic reality once more sets in.

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