Worker Displacement 2007-2009

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, USDL-10-1174, August 26, 2010

From January 2007 through December 2009, 6.9 million workers were displaced from jobs they had held for at least 3 years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was nearly twice as many as were displaced for the survey period covering January 2005 to December 2007. In January 2010, about half of displaced workers were reemployed, down from about two-thirds for the prior survey in January 2008. The more recent period includes the recession that began in December 2007. In contrast, the prior survey covered a period of employment growth and declining unemployment.

Since 1984, the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor has sponsored surveys that collect information on workers who were displaced from their jobs. These surveys have been conducted biennially as supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of house- holds that is the primary source of information on the nation’s labor force.

Displaced workers are defined as persons 20 years of age and older who lost or left jobs because their plant or company closed or moved, there was insufficient work for them to do, or their position or shift was abolished. The period covered in this study was 2007-09, the 3 calendar years prior to the January 2010 survey date. The following analysis focuses primarily on the 6.9 million persons who had worked for their employer for 3 or more years at the time of displacement (referred to as long-tenured). An additional 8.5 million persons were displaced from jobs they had held for less than 3 years (referred to as short-tenured). Combining the short- and long-tenured groups, the number of displaced workers totaled 15.4 million from 2007-09, up from 8.3 million for the period covered by the prior survey (2005-07).

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