Survey data and case studies of workers impacted by layoffs helps in understanding the worker displacement phenomenon and the experiences shared by dislocated workers after layoff.

Worker Displacement Survey Results

On January 25, 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the results of its latest survey of dislocated workers. The survey, the latest version of a biannual survey first conducted in 1984, was conducted in January 2016, and covered the 2013-2015 period.

This special BLS survey defines displaced workers as persons aged 20 or older (typically BLS tracks individuals 16 and older) who lost or left jobs, because:

   1) their plant or company closed or moved,

   2) there was insufficient work for them to do, or

   3) their position or shift was abolished.

The data from this most recent survey generally showed less worker displacement and better re-employment results than the previous survey conducted in January 2014.

At the January 2016 survey time, 66 percent of those laid off during the three-year prior period were reemployed, compared with 61 percent from the 2014 survey.

Survey results also show that a large number of workers continue to be displaced without receiving advance written notice.

             America’s 10 Million Unemployed Youth Spell Danger for Future Economic Growth

Other Layoff and Dislocated Worker Data Sources

The Current Population Survey’s (CPS) Displaced Worker Supplement also has considerable demographic data on dislocated individuals. 

To help dispel some of the confusion about the different sources of information on this subject, please see the link to the left on Finding and Understanding Dislocated Worker Data.  Located there, we have also assembled a detailed comparison of the information available from sources that supply data on laid-off workers.

More information about these and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) can also be found in their respective entries in ETA’s Guide to State and Local Workforce Data.

Dislocated Worker Survey Data Series

2009-2011 News Release every two years following its survey timeframe, but will make available about unpublished tables upon request by contacting the BLS. 

For your convenience, we have included the table numbers and titles, using both the BLS titles and alternate U.S. Employment and Training Administration (ETA) titles which provide a bit more information on what is included in each table.