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Mass Layoffs Surge In January, Highest Since July 2009

Tyler Durden's picture




 

The BLS has reported Mass Layoff Statistics for January 2010 - the result is plain ugly, and kills any hope for sustained improvement in unemployment data. Not seasonally adjusted Mass Layoff Events (defined as at least 50 persons being laid off from a single employer) surged in January to 2,860, from 2,310 in January, from a 12 month low of 1,371 in September 2009. This is the biggest monthly surge since July when the Mass Layoff Events hit a 12 month high of 3,054. In terms of actual workers, January saw 278,679 initially laid off people. The deterioration was mirrored in the much less credible seasonally adjusted data. Obviously companies were waiting for the end of the year to dump as many people as they could.

The BLS data is charted below:

 

 

 

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Tue, 02/23/2010 - 11:55 | 241543 CB
Tue, 02/23/2010 - 18:40 | 242365 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Yes, except for the extremely wealthy, 'rich people' are only rich untill they lose their job, then they become poor too. I guess that will make you happy when everybody is in the soup kitchen line.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 20:35 | 242535 CB
CB's picture

I'd be happy when everyone is in the soup line? I didn't imply anything.  I added a link depicting unemployment by salary level and copied the title of the posting.  Duuude, get a grip....

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 07:36 | 242939 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Your choice of descriptors implied it for you. You are playing the class warfare card my socialist friend. Without people with money to spend there are no jobs for those poor downtrodden folks. Gov't does not create wealth.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 11:59 | 241558 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

i just wanted to do the math question

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:58 | 241661 Whatta
Whatta's picture

LOL. I failed math, so I had to join.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:11 | 241697 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Exactly. Since I only have 10 fingers and 10 toes, any number above 20 was a real pain in the ass. After the first few times of asking my secretary to remove her shoes and show me her hands so I could count to 40, she threatened me with a sexual harassment lawsuit. Either I joined ZH or I got sued. It was an easy choice.

BTW, my secretary has great feet. Now I finally understand what a foot fetish is all about. :>))

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 14:53 | 241935 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

Thanks, man!  I really appreciate the tip.

I've been trying to get my new neighbor to remove her shoes....

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 15:29 | 242006 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

 I've always been able to get to 21 with no problem...

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 15:57 | 242071 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Ah yes, from the male point of view, the most important "digit" of them all. How could I have forgotten where the real brains of the operation resides?

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 19:29 | 242432 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I thought I was the only one who did this.

You sir are a geek.

cpu

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:10 | 241560 Neophiliac
Neophiliac's picture

TD why do you always dismiss SA data? This is no bash, just a question. Your graph shows a very clear seasonal pattern. Ignoring it looks a bit cheeky. There may be errors in seasonal adjustment model, and you're welcome to point them out if you see them, but it's certainly not completely off. It's very much par for the course to lay off more people in January, and you can quite clearly see that in the recurring spikes in the NSA graph. 

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:26 | 241602 pak
pak's picture

Why adjust in the first place? Intelligent observers would be aware of seasonal factors anyway, and markets will discount them. Statistics is data. Application of seasonal adjustments to this data is analysis. Analysis can be good or bad. BLS should concentrate on accuracy of its data so that its "revisions" cannot be as ridiculous as it happens to GDP data, and leave analysis to others.

That's not even to mention that their "adjustments" only err on one side..

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:56 | 241655 Neophiliac
Neophiliac's picture

That's like saying they shouldn't do statistics at all. Part of a job that: running regressions to get as high degree of confidence as possible. And if you leave the seasonality in, your regression  turns out noisy as hell: what you didn't model in the variables ends up in the epsilon.

Can I run that regression? Sure, but that would involve me keeping a spreadsheet with this data going back a whole number of years. I don't have that kind of time, but I do like to look at meaningful information.

If you don't trust BLS statisticians - fine, that's your prerogative. But then can you show me a model that works better? Shouldn't be all that hard for an intelligent observer.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 18:00 | 242307 pak
pak's picture

Data collection and data analysis are two different things by definition.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:08 | 241685 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I think the essential point that's been missed isn't that mass layoffs tend to happen in January, but the relationship between the severity of the event and the overall U3/U6 statistics when these occur. Lower mass layoff spikes are going to impact the economy less severely when the U3 is 6%, as opposed to a higher spike when it's pushing 10%.

Basically, people who used seasonal jobs to survive last year no longer have them, so if the U3 goes up again this month, I wouldn't be surprised.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 14:54 | 241938 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

Wrong, because Nov-Dec stats indicate minimal to almost little seasonal hiring.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 14:46 | 241924 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

i do not believe that sa gives a whole picture....although
there may be some value in it as you suggest, the recent
tumult in the economy puts in doubt that the old sa
models apply....i think it is instructive to look at the
series with and without....

i have no idea how the weightings over time regress so
seeing it in the raw provides an additional perspective
which the sa masks....

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:00 | 241561 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Not surprising. We're about to see the second leg of the equity unwind, companies have become very defensive again, the true extent of the bloodbath in December is becoming known and everyone's getting in position for the dance. I believe that 2010 will be a nasty year all told.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:03 | 241566 SDRII
SDRII's picture

To preserve gross/operating margins and those better than expected EPS labor will continue to be "managed" for efficiencies. In the meantime, expect  better nominal toplines on lower volumes. Chalk another one up for the incredible shrinking middle class.  

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:07 | 241568 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

Nice streak of good news today. Creeeeeak....

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:31 | 241749 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Heh, heh. And yeah, after that, I get the Sara Connor Syndrome moments, but then I let the whiskey kick in.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:14 | 241584 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

PMs and Dow Down. They have been tracking together a while.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:18 | 241597 Stevm30
Stevm30's picture

Well if they fire people now, then they can get a tax break when they hire them back, once the "JOBS" bill passes.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:34 | 241761 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

Gun and ammo stores and pawnshops are hiring...

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:19 | 241599 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

Leo!?    Leo?    Anybody?  Bueller?

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:46 | 241626 berated
berated's picture

I miss Cetin. I can't see the word "surge" without thinking of him fondly....

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:51 | 241640 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

I think it's ALL CLEAR for the SPX (yes, SPX) to rise to 10,000 now.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:51 | 241643 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Buy the dips!

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:52 | 241645 gookempucky
gookempucky's picture

My GOD just hit this planet with an asteroid and lets be done with it.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:56 | 241656 Whatta
Whatta's picture

If this Obama economy turns into an official Depression...can we official name it the O'pression???

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:10 | 241695 girl money
girl money's picture

Whatta fine idea.  Psst... we're already there.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 12:58 | 241659 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

Totally validates everyones expectations.

Get government out of the stats business.

Get government out of the bank business.

Get government out of the car business.

Get government out of the hospital business.

 

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:02 | 241670 Neophiliac
Neophiliac's picture

Nice about stats. Who's gonna do them then? Goldman Sachs? S&P? And you gonna trust them?

 

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:32 | 241752 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Yeah um, its called Shadowstats.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 14:12 | 241835 Stranger
Stranger's picture

Shadowstats uses government stats as its data base.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:28 | 241741 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Put this government out of business, period.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 15:57 | 242070 Postal
Postal's picture

Not until I get another job! I need my gov't job--only source of income (yeah, I know... but for now the fiat paper buys freeze dried food and silver).

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:09 | 241689 curbyourrisk
curbyourrisk's picture

1000 people to be laid off by the MTA in NY today

1000 people to be laid off inthe San Fran school system today.

 

The htis just keep on coming and coming.  Gotta love greenshoots you can take home and smoke....easier to deal witht he pain that way.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:23 | 241725 girl money
girl money's picture

Kmart closing in Austin, MN -- 1000 jobs gone

http://www.startribune.com/business/85002812.html?elr=KArks:DCiU1OiP:DiiUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU

75-year old Stephens Supply in once booming Fuquay-Varina (Raleigh/Durham suburb) closing 2 of 3 divisions.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/02/19/346707/stephens-supply-cuts-back.html

Although the job loss number is small, going from 55 to 15, I'm posting this because I believe the CEO's comment is much closer to the truth than anything we'll hear on CNBS:

"We just decided that the duration of the downturn had been too long and we don't see any end to it," Carver said. "We just decided it was not practical to stick it out for the return" of the building business."

-- Wayne Carver, CEO

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 16:22 | 242111 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

1) There's a K-Mart still open somewhere?

2) K-Mart employs 1000 people at a store?  See question #1.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 16:37 | 242143 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

"That brings to 56 the number of stores that the owner of Sears and Kmart has said over the past year that it will close. About 1,000 jobs will be affected."

Good call, Max

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 02:22 | 242841 girl money
girl money's picture

MMax, thanks so much for catching this... it's Sears Holdings closing 21 stores, totalling 1,000 jobs lost.  that did sound like a lot for a MN Kmart, should have verified.  please accept my apologies.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:13 | 241700 AnonymousMonetarist
AnonymousMonetarist's picture

Aside from the empirical fact that unemployment levels are as bad as, if not worse than, the Great Depression, admittedly there is an important difference.

In the 30s the labor force actually grew.

Where did you go Joe? A nation bids its' unemployed adieu...

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:20 | 241714 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

PPI up CPI declines. Producers can't pass costs to customers. More layoffs to cut overhead. More unemployed. Less demand

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:21 | 241719 toathis
toathis's picture

Peter Schiff's Ultimate Prediction, Will he be wrong?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny5QxZBGJtY

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:30 | 241744 girl money
girl money's picture

Schiff pronounces it "Barack O-Baja" at the very end of this clip.  Methinks it was intentional.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 13:35 | 241736 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

Not To Worry Everyone:  BLS Has The Answer!

From Bill the Brain at Calculated Risk:

Five Million Workers to Exhaust Unemployment Benefits by June

"1.2 million workers facing a cut off of benefits in March"

"There are a record 6.31 million workers who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks (and still want a job). This is a record 4.1% of the civilian workforce. (note: records started in 1948)."

You see without unemployment insurance, the BLS will now classify those 1.2 million workers in March as "Marginally Attached" and no longer unemployed by U3.

See, better already...

Then President Barry O-Hoover will announce the stimulus has "saved" another 1.2 million jobs...

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 16:02 | 242083 Postal
Postal's picture

The beatings will continue until morale improves...

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 23:14 | 242685 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

"The beatings will continue until morale improves..."

Moral will be the referendum item up for vote come November 2010...

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 14:16 | 241847 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Just to throw some fuel on the fire, I'm a programmer at HP and we just had a series of layoffs this week. Nothing new, but let me add this. We are an account of about 500 people with firings/layoffs occuring every 2 weeks for about 3-4 employees, I can account for these layoffs since we get emails with their announcements for security purposes.... in case they decide to make a last minute trip to the office.

This week, we went through another series of layoffs, but this time with no announcements. Asking my buddy who is the manager of a different department what the deal is, so kindly informed me that they were instructed not to send out notifications due to the massive amount of emails that would be "flooding" our inbox.

I find this strange because when we were originally acquired by HP (former EDS man here) and the big "belt-tightening" moves made another time afterwards, there were no qualms made when it came to sending out the emails... hell I made a rule for my inbox to put them all in a special folder just so I can watch the ticker count higher as they week went by.

Just something to speculate on for the February numbers. :-)

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 14:23 | 241865 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Don't fret....

Wow...look at the job the stimulus saved...

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- After resigning as president and CEO of General Motors in December, Fritz Henderson might have gone into hiding or decided to sit out the harsh Michigan winter on a Florida beach.

Fritz Henderson is back at GM, for $3,000 an hour

Instead, here he is popping up again, this time as a consultant to GM on international operations at the very fancy fee of $59,090 a month for 20 hours of work a month. That works out to almost $3,000 an hour for a CEO who was ousted after just eight months on the job.

http://tinyurl.com/yz4trjj

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 16:23 | 242113 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

1) $3000/hr is not bad money.

2) Given all the overtones of this, kinda makes you think that the newly installed Obama appointees at the auto companies are in so far over their head, they're somewhere down in the mantle.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 15:38 | 242018 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

According to the MSM the "Zombie Health Care Bill" and Toyota's proctology exam are much more important than these disemployment numbers.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 16:01 | 242080 Postal
Postal's picture

According to the MSM

I thought we were suppose to be watching CNBC... :P

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 16:39 | 242147 Dburn
Dburn's picture

Just a note that the adjusted number is 1761 mass lay offs. I understand the BLS is not considered the source for all that is worthy in stats, but it seems like a substantial enough number from the unadjusted number , that it is worth looking into further. It's also interesting to compare the adjusted number to to other months in the recession

You'll find it doesn't really stick out in any manner. I guess I'm curious why the adjusted number wasn't worthy of being mentioned.

h/t to silveroz - DailyKos

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 19:49 | 242463 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Am I still good at math?
I just want to see. Kinda like walking a straight line after a couple-a sasparillas.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 21:55 | 242610 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

So, the rich still have their jobs and the poor don't. That kind of makes obama's idea that you grow the economy from the bottom up. Stupid theories are endorsed by stupid people.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 21:56 | 242613 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

So the rich are still working and the poor aren't. Kind of kills the obama theory of growing the economy from the bottom up.

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 09:42 | 242996 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I use the empty road measure. I've been out of work since November, and my wife tells me that there is almost no traffic during rush hour on the road I take to work.

Sat, 04/17/2010 - 10:19 | 305538 Tom123456
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