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Hospital Mass Layoffs Jump in October

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, November 24, 2010

The nation's hospitals reported 16 "mass layoffs" of 50 or more employees in October, up from 10 in September, as the number of job cuts in 2010 keeps pace with the record 152 mass layoffs in 2009, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show.

In the first 10 months of 2010, there have been 128 mass layoffs at hospitals, averaging more than 10 mass layoffs each month. At this pace, hospitals would record 153 mass layoffs in 2010.

Through October, hospital layoffs resulted in 9,898 initial claims for unemployment benefits, which would project to a record 11,877 claims for all of 2010. In 2009, there were 11,787 initial claims for unemployment linked to hospital layoffs, BLS data show.

In the first three quarters of 2010, there were 50 extended mass layoffs of 31 days or longer involving 9,269 workers, which resulted in 6,453 initial unemployment claims. In all of 2009, there were 71 extended mass layoffs affecting 14,131 employees, with 12,405 initial unemployment claims, BLS data show.

Extended mass layoffs are a subset within mass layoffs for reporting purposes, BLS says.
Despite the layoffs, overall hospital employment growth continues in 2010, albeit at a slower pace than in the years preceding the recession.

Hospitals created 5,100 payroll additions in October, and 31,600 payroll additions so far this year, a rate of job creation that is more than double that for the same period in 2009, BLS preliminary data show. Hospitals reported 86,200 payroll additions in the first nine months of 2008.


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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