Some 43% more people laid off last year


This won't come as a surprise to the 11.6 million unemployed people, but in 2008 there were 43% more people laid off than in 2007, according to federal Bureau of Labor Statistics figures.

There were 7,818 extended mass layoff actions in 2008, affecting 1,383,553 workers.

The agency also reported that the number of mass layoff events increased 46% last year, and that employers expected to recall workers in 42% of those actions, down from 50% in 2007.

The industries that had the most permanent closures were manufacturing, primarily in transportation equipment manufacturing, and in retail trade, mostly in general merchandise stores.

Four major industries had highs in the layoffs -- construction, finance and insurance, educational services, and accommodation and food services.

No area of the country escaped the layoffs, although the Midwest took the biggest hit. The Midwest had the largest increase with 149,800 more mass layoffs last year than in 2007, and more people laid off, with 428,283.