Initial Claims for Unemployment Rise; Mass Layoffs Reach Record Levels

By Staff Report

Apr. 23, 2009

The number of U.S. initial claims for unemployment benefits rose 4.4 percent to 640,000 in the week ended April 18 from the previous week’s revised number of 613,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday, April 23.

The four-week moving average of claims fell 0.7 percent to 646,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 651,000.

Mass layoffs and their associated initial claims for unemployment benefits reached their highest levels on record in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of mass layoffs rose 85 percent year-over-year in March to 2,933, and initial unemployment claims associated with mass layoffs rose 85.4 percent to 299,388, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released Thursday by the bureau.

Temporary-help services were the industry with the highest number of initial jobless claims at 9,964 (not seasonally adjusted).

A mass-layoff action involves at least 50 workers from a single workplace.

—Staffing Industry Analysts

Workforce Management’s online news feed is now available via Twitter


blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Employee Engagement

12 practical employee appreciation ideas for better engagement and retention

Summary Showing appreciation to your employees improves engagement and retention. There are 12 practica...

employee appreciation, engagement, HR, raccoons

workforce blog


California fast food workers bill: why it’s more than meets the eye and how to prepare

Summary: California signs bill establishing a “fast food council” that has the power to raise the indus...

workforce blog

Employee Engagement

7 statistics on employee turnover in 2022 every HR manager should be aware of

Summary July 2022 saw 5.9 million total separations – More Replacing a full-time employee can cost up t...

employee retention, employee turnover