NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Layoffs Up, But Unemployment Remains Low

December 14, 1998

Experts predict corporate layoffs are headed for a decade high. But with unemployment at 4.4 percent, workers should not have major problems relocating to other companies.

  • The proportion of those who are without work for less than 15 weeks is much higher than a year ago -- suggesting people are making smooth transitions to new jobs.
  • About 60 percent of full-time workers who were displaced and found another job are making as much or more than they did before, reports Ken Deavers of the Employment Policy Foundation.
  • Jobs are primarily being lost in the manufacturing sector -- with the service sector expanding and taking up much of the slack.
  • From 1979 to 1997, 2.5 million manufacturing jobs were lost, while 34.1 million jobs were created in the service sector, according to Ohio University economist Richard Vedder.

In the past, there would be cries for federal job-training programs. But now even unions are silent. "We know from the evaluations of government training programs the payoffs to them were close to zero," Deavers observes.

Source: Jim Christie, "The Good News on Lost Factory Jobs," Investor's Business Daily, December 11, 1998.


Browse more articles on Economic Issues