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Economic News, Data and Analysis

Layoff Statistics – Back in Business?

Reuters is reporting that the Department of Labor’s layoff report might be back in business…

Forbes.com: Senate seeks to revive canceled U.S. layoffs report
WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) – The Senate is seeking to revive a monthly Labor Department report on U.S. layoffs, which got sacked last year because of a lack of money.
Tucked away in the $390 billion Senate version of the federal budget for 2003 passed late on Thursday was $6.6 million to reinstate the Mass Layoffs Statistics program, which tracked company layoffs of at least 50 workers over a five-week period.

Data compiled from the layoffs reports was used for allocating federal funds for dislocated workers and analyzing unemployment patterns.
Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, sponsored the amendment to renew the program’s funding and accused the Bush administration of canceling the program for political reasons. Unemployment was 6.0 percent in December and the number of long-term jobless has also been on the rise.

“The Mass Layoffs Statistics are one of the best measures we have to understand the impact on workers of changes in the economy,” Kennedy said.
The program had also been canceled in 1992, during the terms of the first President Bush. It was reinstated in 1994 during the first Clinton presidency.

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