Hospital Mass Layoffs Taper in November

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , December 28, 2010

The nation's hospitals reported six “mass layoffs” of 50 or more employees in November, down considerably from the 16 mass layoffs reported in October, and the 10 reported in September, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show.

In the first 11 months of 2010, there have been 134 mass layoffs at hospitals, averaging more than 12 mass layoffs each month. In 2009, hospitals reported 152 mass layoffs.

Through November 2010, hospital layoffs resulted in 10,317 initial claims for unemployment benefits, which would project to 11,254 claims for all of 2010. In all of 2009, there were 11,787 initial claims for unemployment linked to hospital layoffs, BLS data show.

Despite the layoffs, the nation’s hospitals continue to report gains in hiring, including 8,000 payroll additions in November, and 42,200 payroll additions in the first 11 months of 2010.   However, those numbers are well off the pace of hospital job growth for most of the decade, BLS data show. After erratic hospital job growth in the first seven months of this year, hospitals have seen four straight months of growing employment, and have added 23,900 jobs since August. Overall, hospitals employed more than 4.7 million people in November.

In the overall economy, BLS reports that employers took 1,586 mass layoffs involving 152,816 workers in November, down 65 mass layoffs from October. The manufacturing sector led the way, with 354 mass layoffs resulting in 39,465 initial claims for unemployment. The national unemployment rate was 9.8% in November, up from 9.6% in October.

The BLS report may be viewed here.


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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