Mass Layoff Statistics Data MLS

The Mass Layoff Statistics program (MLS) is a federal/state cooperative statistical effort that uses a standardized, automated approach to identify, describe and track the effects of major job cutbacks using data from each state's unemployment insurance database. Establishments that have at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance filed against them during a consecutive five-week period are contacted by state agencies to determine whether those separations are of at least 31 days duration. If the separations are of at least 31 days duration, information is obtained from the establishments about the total number of persons separated, the reasons for the separations, recall expectations and the movement of work.

MLS data are published in monthly and quarterly news releases and in an annual report. Monthly releases report summary layoff information and the quarterly releases report additional data obtained from employers implementing the layoffs - such as the reason for the layoff, number of workers involved and recall expectations. Annual reports summarize mass layoff data for each calendar year and contain considerable data not available in the news releases.

MLS data are used for the following purposes:
  • Sub-state allocations of federal funds for dislocated workers through the Economic Development and Worker Adjustment Assistance Act.
  • Analysis of ailing industries or geographic areas.
  • Identifying the causes and scope of worker dislocations, especially in terms of the human and economic costs, and the characteristics of dislocated workers.
  • Development of approaches for work force planners and labor market analysts for assisting employers and/or workers at the local level.
  • Analysis of potentially available labor market supply.