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More Than 200,000 Layoffs in April, Unemployment 9.9 Percent

More than 200,000 workers were laid off during the month of April by 1,856 employers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. April mass layoffs increased by 228 from March. The manufacturing sector reported 448 mass layoffs, which led to more than 63,000 initial unemployment insurance claims.

The Bureau clocked the national unemployment rate for April at 9.9 percent, an increase of 0.2 percent in March, and 1 percent in April 2009.

Over the past year, average weekly mass layoffs decreased by 269, and average weekly initial claims dropped by 24,295. The manufacturing sector accounted for 23 percent of all layoffs and 28 percent of initial unemployment insurance claims filed in April. The previous April, manufacturing accounted for 35 percent of layoffs and 39 percent of claimants. All 21 manufacturing sectors reported decreases in weekly claims, with the largest drop in machinery manufacturing.

Geographically, California had the highest number of unemployment claims in April, followed by New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and New Jersey.

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