BLS tracks mass layoff data by surveying employers. Some of the other numbers in the report offer more hope about the economy. Of the firms that laid off employees in the first quarter, 49% expect to hire back at least some of the laid-off workers. This is the highest first-quarter percentage since 2005 and up from 38% last year.
The hard hit manufacturing sector got some good news and a certain level of stability. The 34,077 manufacturing jobs lost through layoffs was the lowest quarterly total since at least 1995 when BLS started compiling these figures.