Fewer hospital mass layoffs at start of year

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 5, 2012

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After several years of high numbers of mass layoffs at hospitals and elsewhere in the health care industry because of the struggling economy, January showed evidence of fiscal recovery.

Nine mass layoffs occurred at hospitals in January, affecting at least 456 people, according to the monthly mass layoffs report issued Feb. 23 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mass layoffs are defined as at least 50 people losing their jobs from a single entity.

This is an improvement over the previous year. January 2011 saw 16 mass layoffs affecting 1,133 people. January 2010 started with 13 such incidents involving at least 995 jobs.

Physicians and other clinical staff are rarely laid off; nonclinical staff tend to be more affected.

There were 152 mass layoffs at hospitals in 2009, the most for the past decade, when the recession was at its peak. The greatest number of people affected for the past 10 years was 13,282 in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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