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Sunday, August 11, 2013

How Many People Are Fired Each Year in the United States?

How Many People Are Fired or Laid Off Each Year in the United States?  How Many People Are Fired Each Day in the United States?

Hold on...  These numbers sound staggering:

An average of 55,939 people were laid off or fired EACH DAY (including weekends and holidays) in 2014. (20,418,000 people in total were laid off or fired in the 365 days of 2014.)

An average of 57,887 people have been laid off or fired each day (including weekends and holidays) in 2015 through May.  A total of 8,741,000 people have been laid off or fired in the first 151 days of 2015 (through May).

These both sound like big numbers, but the 2014 number is the SECOND LOWEST number of annual layoffs in the 13 years since 2002.  (The LOWEST number of layoffs was 2013, in which 19,930,000 people in the year or 54,602 people a day were laid off or fired.)

These are huge numbers.... So.... how can the jobs numbers keep going up?  Is someone lying?  (Continue reading.)

Where do these numbers come from? 

The JOLTS report (Job Openings, Layoffs, and Turnover Survey), published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)  tells us how many layoffs and "discharges" (generally firings for cause) in total were conducted in a given month, though it doesn't differentiate between people laid off due to a business closing, merger, or reduction in force vs. people who were fired for cause.

These numbers are publicly available going back to the year 2001.  As you can see on the chart below, the numbers of layoffs and discharges increased rapidly during the recession of 2007-2008, but came down very rapidly as well. They have now been generally decreasing on a monthly basis since mid 2009. However, even the seasonally adjusted number of layoffs and discharges is volatile, meaning that it goes up and down quite a bit from one month to the next.  Also, when there are more jobs, there are, as a whole, more layoffs.  There were about 3 million more jobs in the United States in 2014 vs. 2013,which is the main reason why there were slightly more layoffs in 2014 vs. 2013. 

Number of layoffs per month in thousands (BLS report JTS00000000LDL)

Annual Numbers of Layoffs:

Layoffs and discharges annually through 2014 with numbers of month-by-month layoffs for 2014:

  • 2001:             24,499,000      
  • 2002:             22,922,000
  • 2003:             23,294,000
  • 2004:             22,668,000
  • 2005:             22,243,000
  • 2006:             20,896,000
  • 2007:             21,958,000
  • 2008:             24,028,000
  • 2009:             26,444,000
  • 2010:             21,829,000
  • 2011:             20,805,000
  • 2012:             20,892,000
  • 2013:             19,930,000
  • Jan 2014:         1,752,000 
  • Feb 2014:         1,671,000 
  • Mar 2014:         1,684,000
  • Apr 2014:         1,703,000
  • May 2014:         1,659,000
  • June 2014:        1,700,000
  • July 2014:         1,827,000
  • August 2014:     1,663,000
  • Sept 2014:        1,694,000
  • Oct 2014:          1,745,000
  • Nov 2014:          1,595,000
  • Dec 2014:          1,725,000
  • 2014:              20,418,000
  • Jan 2015:           1,722,000
  • Feb 2015:           1,688,000
  • Mar 2015:           1,894,000
  • Apr 2015:           1,784,000
  • May 2015:          1,653,000
  • 2015 to date:      8,741,000
So... How can the jobs numbers keep going up?  Is someone lying?

Here's the key:  We need to compare FIRING and other separations with HIRING in a given year.

2013:  An average of 148,323 people were HIRED EACH DAY in 2013. On average, 6,4000 MORE people were hired each day in 2013 than left their jobs for any reason in 2013.  More details about hiring HERE.  As long as we have more people being hired than people leaving their jobs for any reason, the total number of jobs will continue to climb. 

What about 2014?

An average of 
160,778 people were HIRED EACH DAY in 2014.  An average of 152,356 people left their jobs for any reason each day in 2014.  On average, 8,400 MORE people were hired each day in 2014 than left their jobs for any reason in 2014.  This is the greatest number of net hires (over separations for any reason) over the past 13 years.  (By comparison, in 2009, there were 9,000 more separations every day vs. hires.)

So.. take that 8,400 and multiply it by 365 days and you get 3.1 million... which is VERY close to the 3.1 million jobs that the BLS says were created in 2014 HERE.  

And.. how about 2015 to date?

An average of 
166,404 people were HIRED EACH DAY so far in 2015.  An average of 161,126 people left their jobs for any reason each day in 2015.  On average, 5,300 MORE people were hired each day in 2015 than left their jobs for any reason in 2015.  At this pace, we will add at least 1.9 million jobs this year.      

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