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HR 101: Let’s discuss modern-day mass layoffs

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Welcome to HR 101. Class is now in session. Today’s discussion is all about the modern-ish history of mass layoffs in the US.

The history. Mass layoffs are those that affect at least 33% of total active workforce at a single company site and are not the result of a worksite closure, according to the Department of Labor.

Mass layoffs, outside the context of an economic downturn, were rare, with less than 5% of US employers announcing layoffs in 1979, according to Bloomberg. In the 1980s, though, they became a more common strategy.

General Electric Chairman Jack Welch became known as a proponent

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