MLS General Information
The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program is a federal-state cooperative that uses data from the unemployment insurance (UI) database to identify, describe, and track the effects of major job cutbacks. R&A contacts establishments with at least 50 initial UI claims filed against them during a consecutive five-week period to determine whether these separations are at least 31 days long. If so, R&A obtains information on the reasons and total number of separated workers. The company is also asked about the laid-off employees’ job functions, the number working prior to layoff, and where the employees had been working.
These data are reported by major industry categories. Confidentiality restrictions require suppression of industry categories with three or fewer establishments; these are identified with an asterisk. The residual category “All Other Industries” contains the combined suppressed data and is subject to the same suppression criteria.
Employer responses are voluntary, and though they may have confirmed a layoff, they may not have responded to some of the other questions. A nonresponse to the number of employees laid off may cause the number of total layoffs to be lower than the total number of initial claims when data are aggregated by industry.