Nearly 131,000 workers were laid off in February across 1,421 mass layoff actions, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Each mass layoff represented at least 50 workers from a single employer.
The number of mass layoff events decreased by 113 from January. Associated initial unemployment claims also dropped, by 18,981. In February 2011, there were 85,585 initial unemployment claims.
The manufacturing sector accounted for 22 percent of all mass layoff events and initial claims in February. Manufacturing's food processing sector accounted for the greatest number of unemployment insurance claimants. Transportation equipment and machinery had the largest declines in initial claims.
Manufacturing's figures are down from the previous year, when the industry accounted for 24 percent of mass layoff events and 30 percent of initial unemployment insurance claims in February 2010.