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Mass Layoffs Drop in May, Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports

Employers laid off 135,789 workers during the month of May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The separations resulted from 1,412 layoff actions which each involved at least 50 employees from a single employer.

Mass layoff actions decreased by 444 from April, and initial unemployment claims dropped by 65,081. The manufacturing sector saw a decrease in layoffs, with 266 layoff actions in May and 22,577 initial jobless claims.

Manufacturing accounted for 16 percent of all layoffs and initial claims in May. The previous year it accounted for 37 percent of layoffs and 43 percent of initial claims. Food and transportation equipment had the highest number of jobless claimants. All 21 manufacturing sectors had yearly decreases in average weekly initial claims.

All four regions and nine geographic divisions saw yearly decreases in jobless claimants. The Midwest and South had the biggest declines in average weekly claims, while the East North Central and Mid Atlantic had the highest annual declines.

California had the highest number of jobless claims in May, followed by Texas, Florida, and Illinois.

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