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Mass layoff events fall to lowest level since 2006 in first quarter

Mass layoff events decreased to their lowest level since 2006 in the first quarter of 2012, according to numbers released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Private nonfarm employers initiated only 1,077 mass layoff events from January through March, which amounts to an estimated 182,101 employees, according to the release. In the last quarter of 2011, private-sector employers initiated 1,904 layoffs for an estimated total of 334,843 employees. 

The numbers for the first quarter represent a significant improvement over three years ago during the first quarter of 2009, the quarter right after the financial crisis, when employers laid off an estimated 705,141 workers in 3,979 events. 

In the manufacturing sector, mass layoffs were lower last quarter than any other quarter since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started keeping track in 1995.

According to the report, business demand factors accounted for 39 percent of layoffs and 28 percent of events were attributed to completion of seasonal work.

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