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Displaced Workers,
1981-85




Displaced Workers,
1981-85
U.S. Department of Labor
William E. Brock, Secretary
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Janet L. Norwood, Commissioner
September 1987
Bulletin 2289




^.M .S .U . L i JRAR s
U.S. D E P O S IT O R Y

OCT 2 8 1987




For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20402

P reface

This bulletin discusses the plight of workers who were dis­
placed from their jobs because of plant closings or employ­
ment cutbacks during the January 1981-January 1986 period.
The article was initially published in the Monthly Labor
Review, June 1987, and is reprinted with additional tabular
material and an explanatory note.




The data were compiled from a special survey conducted
in January 1986 as a supplement to the Current Population
Survey (CPS) which is conducted and tabulated by the Bureau
of Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Material in this publication is in the public domain and, with
appropriate credit, may be reproduced without permission.




Contents

Page
The pulse of economic change: Displaced workers of 1981-85
Appendixes:
A. Explanatory note.......................................................................................................................... 1
B. Supplementary tables:.................................................................................................................. 15
Displaced Workers:
B- 1. Year of job loss, sex, race, Hispanic origin,and employment status
in January 1986 ................................................................................................................
B- 2. Full- or part-time status on lost job, age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and
employment status inJanuary 1986 .................................................................................
B- 3. Educational attainment, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and employment status in
January 1986......................................................................................................................
B- 4. Educational attainment, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and reason for job loss................
B- 5. Industry and class of worker of lost job and reason for job lo ss..................................
B- 6. Sex, whether they received advance notice orexpected layoff, reason for job
loss, and employment status inJanuary 1986....................................................................
B- 7. Reason for job loss, whether or not they received or exhausted unemployment
insurance benefits, age, and employment status in January 1986..................................
B- 8. Full- or part-time status on lost job, sex,group health insurance coverage on
lost job, and employment status and coverage in January 1986 ....................................
B- 9. Weeks without work after job loss and other selected characteristics..........................
B-10. Median weekly earnings of displaced workers on lost job and on both the old
and new job for those reemployed in January 1986 by industry and
class of w orkers...............................................................................................................
B-l 1. Industry of lost job and industry of job held in January 1986 ......................................
B-12. Selected manufacturing industry of lost job, sex, tenure when job ended,
and median weeks without work after job lo s s ..............................................................




15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

24
25
26




The pulse of economic change:
displaced workers of 1981-85
Of the 5.1 million workers who had lost jobs
at which they had worked at least 3 years ,
about two-thirds were reemployed as of January 1986
F rancis W H o rva th

•

One of the harsh realities of economic change is the closing
of plants or the severe cutbacks in their operations. The
mass layoffs create instant pockets of unemployment, often
made up of people with years of dedicated service and
acquired skills and no place to apply them. The ability of
these workers to readjust after plant closings or large cut­
backs has been a subject of considerable interest to policy­
makers, labor leaders, and economic analysts.
In January 1986, the Employment and Training Adminis­
tration sponsored a special supplement to the Current Popu­
lation Survey designed to answer some of the questions
about “displaced workers.” The survey was almost identical
to a study conducted in January 1984, which permitted
additional insight into the problem.1 The principal findings
of the survey include:
•

•

•

•

•
•

•

A total of 10.8 million workers 20 years of age and over
lost jobs because of plant closings or employment cut­
backs over the January 1981-January 1986 period.
Those who had been at their jobs at least 3 years num­
bered about 5.1 million. This estimate was very similar
to that obtained in the 1984 survey, which had covered
the 1979-83 period.
While both surveys yielded about the same number of
displaced workers with at least 3 years of tenure on the
lost jobs, the reemployed proportion was much higher in
1986 than in 1984-67, compared with 60 percent.
Close to 18 percent of those displaced were unemployed
when surveyed in January 1986. This was an improve­
ment over 1984, when 26 percent of those displaced
were looking for work.

Measurement of displacement
Interest in the issue of displaced workers increased in the
early 1980’s, as two back-to-back recessions led to the elim­
ination of many jobs.2 Indications that the cutbacks in many
industries might be permanent rather than cyclical spurred
an effort to better identify those workers who had lost their
jobs. The terms “displaced” or “dislocated” were used to
describe workers who had put in years of service and ac­
quired very specific skills, only to find that those skills were
no longer in demand.
As noted above, only a small proportion of the displaced
were unemployed when surveyed. In fact, many may have

Francis W. Horvath is an economist in the Division of Labor Force Statis­
tics, Bureau of Labor Statistics.




The number of labor force exits among displaced work­
ers was very close to the 14-percent level observed in
1984. More than 1 of every 3 older workers (over 55
years of age) left the labor force after losing their jobs.
Of the 3.4 million workers who found work following
the displacement, 2.7 million were working at full-time
wage and salary jobs. More than half of those reem­
ployed earned as much or more in their new jobs as in
their lost jobs.
About 2 of 3 displaced workers were men.
The geographic distribution of displaced workers was
again heavily concentrated in the East North Central
States. More than 1.1 million workers there had lost jobs
since 1981.
Following displacement, reemployment was more diffi­
cult for black and Hispanic workers. The percentage of
those who were reemployed as of January 1986 was
about 10 percentage points lower than the comparable
level for whites.

1

By January 1986, the rate of reemployment among manuiacturing workers had improved considerably relative to
1984. About 2 of 3 workers displaced from manufacturing
had found new jobs as of January 1986, a rate of reemploy­
ment quite similar to that for workers who had lost jobs in
other industries. In the 1984 survey, the reemployment rate
for manufacturing workers was much lower— 59 percent.
The services industry accounted for about 10 percent of
the displaced workers. This proportion was relatively small
considering that these workers accounted for over 30 per­
cent of all employed workers. Also, more than 2 of 3 service
workers who had been displaced were able to find new jobs
as of January 1986.
The largest number of displaced workers—some 1.9 mil-

found another job rather ^quickly, although it may not have
been at a pay and skill level comparable to the one from
which they had been displaced. A frequently mentioned
example of a displaced worker is the steel or automobile
worker, who had been employed at a relatively high paying
production job and who, upon losing that job, finds little
prospect of replacing the earnings to which he—and his
family—had become accustomed.
Some displaced workers might give up looking for work
altogether, believing that there are no suitable jobs avail­
able. Unplanned early retirements often seem to be the only
choice for many of the older displaced workers.
Altogether, a total of 10.8 million workers 20 years of age
and over answered that they had lost a job between January
1981 and January 1986 because of plant closings, employers
going out of business, or layoffs from which they had not
been recalled. However, a large proportion of these workers
had been at their jobs for only a short period before they
were dismissed. For example, about 4 million—or 37 per­
cent—had been at their jobs a year or less.
In order to focus on those displaced workers who had
spent a substantial amount of time with their employer,
while presumably acquiring a substantial amount of jobspecific skills, the statistical universe used in this study was
limited to those individuals with 3 years or more of tenure
on the jobs they lost, some 5.1 million.

Table 1. Employment status of displaced workers by age,
sex, race, and Hispanic origin, January 1986
[In percent)
Characteristic

Total

Employed

Unemployed

Not in the
labor force

5,130
222
3,950
789

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

66.9
69.1
72.5
47.4

17.8
23.2
18.1
17.6

15.3
7.7
9.4
35.0

169

100.0

23.4

4.3

72.4

3,321
146
2,605
482

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

70.9
74.1
76.1
50.2

18.6
20.4
19.6
15.3

10.5
5.5
4.4
34.5

87

100.0

24.5

6.2

69.3

1,810
76
1,345
307

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

59.6
59.6
65.7
43.1

16.2
28.7
15.2
21.2

24.1
11.8
19.0
35.8

82

100.0

22.2

2.2

75.6

4,452
2,936
1,516

100.0
100.0
100.0

68.2
72.4
59.9

16.2
16.8
15.2

15.6
10.8
24.9

581
312
268

100.0
100.0
100.0

57.7
57.6
57.7

29.2
36.0
21.3

13.1
6.3
21.0

311
208
103

100.0
100.0
100.0

56.6
63.7
42.3

27.2
27.9
25.9

16.1
8.4
31.8

Total

Total, 20 years
and over .........
20 to 24 years .
25 to 54 years .
55 to 64 years .
65 years and
over............
Men

Demographic characteristics

Total, 20 years
and over ........
20 to 24 years .
25 to 54 years .
55 to 64 years .
65 years and
over............

About two-thirds of the 5.1 million displaced workers
were men, and most were in the prime working ages, 25 to
54. (See table 1.) These men were not only the largest group
of displaced workers, they also had the highest level of
reemployment; over three-fourths of them were reemployed
in January 1986.
Blacks accounted for 11 percent of all displaced workers,
and there were nearly as many black women as there were
men. Also, the level of reemployment was just under 58
percent for both black men and women.
Following displacement, women were much more likely
to leave the labor force than men. Almost 1 in 4 white
women and 1 in 5 black women who had been displaced
were outside the labor force in January 1986. The proportion
of labor force leavers was nearly 1 of 3 for Hispanic women.
Black and Hispanic displaced workers were more likely
to be unemployed in January 1986 than whites. About 36
percent of black men and 28 percent of Hispanic men who
had been displaced were unemployed compared with 17
percent of white men.

Women

Total, 20 years
and over .........
20 to 24 years .
25 to 54 years .
55 to 64 years .
65 years and
over............
White

Total, 20 years
and over .........
Men..............
W en ........
om
Black

Total, 20 years
and over .........
Men..............
W en .........
om
Hispanic origin

Total, 20 years
and over .........
Men..............
W en ........
om

Industry and occupation. As was found in the 1984 sur­
vey, about one-half of the displaced workers in January
1986 had lost jobs in manufacturing. The industries in which
much of the displacement had taken place included nonelec­
trical machinery, electrical machinery, and primary metals.
(See table 2.)




Number
(thouaanda)1

1Data refer to persons w tenure of 3 years or m who lost or left a job between January
ith
ore
'.381 and January 1986 because of plant closings or m
oves, slack work, or the abolishment of
their positions or shifts.
Note: Detail for the above race and Hispanic-origin groups will not sumto totals because
data for the ‘other races' group are not presented and Hispanics are included in both the white
and black population groups.

2

Table 2.

Employment status of displaced workers by industry and class of worker of lost job, January 1986

[In percent]
Industry and c la ss o f w orker

Num ber
(th o u sa n d s)1

N ot In the

Total

Em ployed

66.9

17.8

In du stry and

15.3

labor force

Total, 20 years and over2 ......

5,130

100.0

Nonagncultural private wage and
salary workers .....................

4,772

100.0

67.2

17.6

Mining ...........................
Construction ....................

100.0
100.0

67.4
74.8

17.4
16.6

15.2
8.6

Manufactunng...................
Durable goods ................
Lumber and wood
products .................
Furniture and fixtures......
Stone, day, and glass
products .................
Primary metal
industnes
Fabricated metal
products .................
Machinery, except
electrical .................
Electrical machinery........
Transportation
equipment................
Automobiles..............
Other transportation

2,550
1,691

100.0
100.0

65.9
66.7

18.2
18.9

15.9
14.4

104
63

100.0
100.0

67.0
(3)

23.2
(3)

9.8
(3)

87

100.0

64.7

17.3

Textile mill products .
Apparel and other
finished textile
products.........
Paper and allied
products................
Printing and
publishing
Chemical and allied
products................
Rubber and mtscellaneous plastics products
Other nondurable goods
industries..............

15.2

175
316

dess o f w orker

Num ber

Unem ployed

N ot in the

Total

Em ployed

123

100.0

71.2

9.9

19.0

171

100.0

51.9

18.0

30.1

39

100.0

(3)

(3)

(3)

94

100.0

69.8

14.8

15.4

98

100.0

75.2

11.9

12.8

67

100.0

(3)

(3)

(3)

88

100.0

62.8

25.9

11.3

386
303

100.0
100.0

66.9
66.1

20.0
20.6

13.1
13.3

83

100.0

69.9

17.7

12.4

689
294
395

100.0
100.0
100.0

66.3
74.4
60.3

12.4
12.5
12.4

21.3
13.1
27.4

107
540
342

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

141
172
33

(th o u sa n d s)1

labor force

17.9

235

100.0

62.0

15.0

23.0

187

100.0

64.1

24.8

11.0

361
255

100.0
100.0

71.9
54.9

18.6
23.2

9.5
21.9
8.9
8.7
9.2

Nondurable good s.............
Food and kindred
products .................

260
148

100.0
100.0

74.3
70.2

16.7
21.1

112
Professional and
photographic
equipment................
Other durable goods
industries.................

Transportation and public
utilities...................
Transportation..............
Communication and other
public utilities

100.0

79.8

11.0

73

100.0

(3)

(3)

(3)

Wholesale and retail trade .
Wholesale trade ...........
Retail trade
Finance, insurance, and
real estate
Se rvice s......................
Professional services......
Other service industries ...

(3)

66

100.0

(3)

(3)

859

100.0

64.3

16.8

18.9

178

100.0

57.1

19.5

23.4

Agricultural wage and salary
workers .........................
Government workers..............
Self-employed and unpaid
family workers...................

198

73.5
68.4

12.5
21.4

66.8

19
.1

69.3

22.8

14.0
10.2
14.1
8.0

100.0
100.0

66.0
63.0

20.9
18.9

13.1
18.0

100.0

(3)

(3)

(3)

1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left a job between January 1981 and
2 Total includes a small number who did not report Industry or class of worker.
January 1906 because of plant closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their positions or
shifts.
3 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.

lion—were formerly employed as operators, fabricators,
and laborers, occupations which are quite prevalent in the
manufacturing industries. They represented nearly 2 out of
5 displaced workers in January 1986. (See table 3.)
The higher the workers’ skills, the more likely they were
to have found other jobs. For example, among persons who
had lost managerial and professional specialty jobs, almost
3 of 4 were reemployed in January 1986. On the other hand,
fewer than 2 of 3 of the displaced operators, fabricators, and
laborers had been able to find new jobs. The highest propor­
tions of displaced workers who were still unemployed were
those who had lost their jobs in the transportation and mate­
rial moving occupations, as well as in the service occupa­
tions.

about half in January 1984. However, among those still
unemployed, almost one-third had been without work for
6 months or more.
Reemployment was much higher for displaced workers
on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. In New England, for
example, about 75 percent of those identified as displaced
workers had found new jobs. On the Pacific coast, about 70
percent of those who had been displaced were again em­
ployed in January 1986, and among those who were still
looking for work, 42 percent had been unemployed for less
than 5 weeks.

Tenure on jobs lost. In order to identify workers who had
formed a long term relationship with their employers, only
those who had worked for 3 years more on the jobs lost were
included in the detailed analysis of the data from 1984 and
1986. While persons with shorter job durations may also
face hardships following plant closings, their skills are un­
likely to be tied to an employer or industry.
The tenure of displaced workers on the jobs lost tends
to be higher than the tenure of the overall work force.
Obviously, the restriction to 3 years or more of tenure im­
parts an upward bias that the general tenure level does not
have. In addition, in declining industries, workers with the
least tenure are likely to be released first. Should the plant

Regional distribution. As in January 1984, the largest
concentration of displaced workers in the 1986 survey was
found in the East North Central area— 1.1 million. This area
comprises the heavily industrialized States of Illinois, Indi­
ana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Close to half of the job
losses in this area had occurred in the durable goods manu­
facturing industry. (See table 4.)
But some improvement was found even in the East North
Central area. About 65 percent of the area’s displaced work­
ers were employed in January 1986, compared with only




3

Table 3.

Employment status of displaced workers by occupation of lost job, January 1986

[In percent]
Number
(thousands)1

Occupation

Total

Employed

Not In the
labor force

Unemployed

Total, 20 years and over2 ..........................................................................................................................................

5,130

100.0

66.9

17.8

15.3

Managerial and professional specialty................................................................................................................................
Executive, administrative, and m anagerial....................................................................................................................
Professional specialty........................................................................................................................................................

782
487
295

100.0
100.0
100.0

74.1
72.0
77.7

14.1
16.9
9.4

11.7
11.1
12.8

Technical, sales, and administrative support....................................................................................................................
Technicians and related s u pport.....................................................................................................................................
Sales occupations .............................................................................................................................................................
Administrative support, including c le ric a l......................................................................................................................

1,125
174
447
504

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

68.0
76.5
65.1
67.6

12.8
11.7
11.9
13.9

19.2
11.8
23.0
18.5

Service occupations...............................................................................................................................................................
Protective s ervice...............................................................................................................................................................
Service, except private household and protective........................................................................................................

254
32
222

100.0
100.0
100.0

53.5
(3)
52.6

22.6
(3)
24.1

23.9
(3)
23.2

Precision production, craft, and re p a ir................................................................................................................................
Mechanics and repairers...................................................................................................................................................
Construction trades.............................................................................................................................................................
Other precision production, craft, and repair ...............................................................................................................

1,018
268
255
495

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

68.5
73.7
69.2
65.4

18.2
18.5
22.4
15.9

13.3
7.9
8.4
18.8

Operators, fabricators, and la b o rers ..................................................................................................................................
Machine operators, assemblers, and inspectors..........................................................................................................
Transportation and material moving occupations........................................................................................................
Handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and laborers.................................................................................................
Construction laborers ...................................................................................................................................................
Other handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and laborers..................................................................................

1,870
1,197
328
345
51
293

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

64.0
64.1
62.6
65.1
(3)
64.6

21.4
19.7
25.7
23.4
(3)
23.0

14.6
16.3
11.7
11.4
(3)
12.4

Farming, forestry, and fishing..............................................................................................................................................

80

100.0

72.1

19.1

8.9

1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left a job between January
1981 and January 1986 because of plant closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of
their positions or shifts.

Table 4.

2 Total includes a small number who did not report occupation.
, _ .
. . _____ . _ . ___ . .___ ,,
_
,,
3 Da,a not shown where base » less than 75,000.

Employment status and area of residence in January 1986 of displaced workers by selected characteristics

[Numbers in thousands]

Characteristic

England

Middle
Atlantic

East
North
Central

West
North
Central

South
Atlantic

East
South
Central

West
South
Central

Mountain

Pacific

5,130
3,321
1,810

226
129
97

733
453
280

1,149
774
375

384
253
131

744
464
280

397
235
162

610
401
209

240
169
71

648
443
205

2,809
1,603
719

143
48
35

427
221
84

580
402
166

206
122
55

444
197
103

223
132
42

311
210
89

123
76
41

351
194
103

359
2,592
1,707
885
417
706
680
55
319

8
141
82
59
19
22
34
2
1

27
428
272
157
62
73
103
10
29

84
646
498
148
B3
164
119
12
41

25
179
120
59
29
69
48
8
25

61
364
177
187
55
96
102
3
62

34
197
101
96
51
49
35
3
27

43
281
185
96
51
80
81
3
71

25
66
41
25
20
39
51
7
32

53
289
232
57
46
114
107
8
31

3,432
912
26.4
23.6
786

168
22
(3)
(3)
35

442
162
25.6
25.8
129

749
233
24.9
31.0
167

263
62
(3)
(3)
59

535
104
27.1
23.2
105

248
84
25.4
24.2
65

403
103
18.3
16.4
103

174
34
(3)
(3)
32

450
108
42.1
17.9
90

Total1

Workers who lost jobs
Total ............................................................................................................
M e n ..........................................................................................................
Women ...................................................................................................
Reason for job loss
Plant or company closed down or moved .......................................
Slack w o r k ..............................................................................................
Position or shift abolished...................................................................
Industry of lost job
Construction............................................................................................
Manufacturing.........................................................................................
Durable goods....................................................................................
Nondurable goods.............................................................................
Transportation and public utilities .....................................................
Wholesale and retail trade .................................................................
Finance and service industries ..........................................................
Public administration.............................................................................
Other industries2 ....................................................................................
Employment status
in January 1986
Em ployed................................................................................................
Unemployed...........................................................................................
Percent less than 5 w ee k s ...............................................................
Percent 27 weeks or m o re ...............................................................
Not in the labor force ...........................................................................

1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left a job between January
1981 and January 1986 because of plant closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of
their positions or shifts.
2 Includes a small number who did not report industry.
3 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.
Note: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont
compose the New England Division; New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania compose the
Middle Atlantic Division; Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin compose the East




North Central Division; Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South
Dakota compose the West North Central Division; Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida,
Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia compose the
South Atlantic Division; Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee compose the East
South Central Division; Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas compose the West South
Central Division; Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming
compose the Mountain Division; Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington compose
the Pacific Division.

4

Table 5.

Displaced workers by age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and tenure when job ended

[In percent]
Number
(thousands)1

Total

3t o4
years

5t o9
years

10 to 14
years

15 to 19
years

II

Median
years on
lost job

5,130
4,908
3,950
789
169

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

32.8
31.0
35.0
14.6
15.0

34.2
34.5
37.2
22.6
25.6

15.7
16.4
16.1
17.9
15.6

7.8
8.2
7.0
12.8
13.6

9.5
9.9
4.7
32.0
30.2

6.6
6.9
6.2
12.9
12.8

3,321
3,175
2,605
482
87

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

31.2
29.4
32.7
14.9
12.9

33.6
33.7
36.6
18.9
30.4

15.5
16.2
16.8
14.6
9.8

8.9
9.3
8.6
12.8
10.8

10.9
11.4
5.4
38.8
36.2

6.9
7.3
6.6
15.4
13.2

1,810
1,733
1,345
307
82

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

35.7
34.0
39.5
14.2
17.3

35.4
35.8
38.4
28.4
20.5

15.9
16.6
14.8
23.2
21.7

6.0
6.2
4.1
12.9
16.6

7.0
7.4
3.2
21.2
23.9

6.0
6.2
5.7
10.7
12.7

4,452
2,936
1,516

100.0
100.0
100.0

32.6
31.0
35.5

33.6
32.9
34.9

15.6
15.7
15.5

8.1
9.2
6.0

10.1
11.1
8.1

6.7
7.0
6.0

581
312
268

100.0
100.0
100.0

35.1
31.9
38.7

36.8
38.4
34.9

16.0
13.5
18.9

6.2
6.7
5.7

5.9
9.5
1.7

6.2
6.6
5.7

311
208
103

100.0
100.0
100.0

33.6
27.7
45.5

42.3
43.9
39.1

12.9
14.5
9.7

6.3
8.3
2.3

4.9
5.6
3.5

6.4
7.3
5.3

8S

Characteristic

Total
Total, 20 years and over
25 years and o v e r................
25 to 54 y e a rs ...................
55 to 64 y e a rs ...................
65 years and o v e r ............
Men
Total, 20 years and o v e r.........
25 years and o v e r................
25 to 54 y e a rs ...................
55 to 64 y e a rs ...................
65 years and o v e r ............
Women
Total, 20 years and o v e r.........
25 years and o v e r................
25 to 54 years
55 to 64 y e a rs ...................
65 years and o v e r ............
White
Total, 20 years and o v e r..........
Men
Women .................................
Black
Total, 20 years and o v e r.........
Men ........................................
Women .................................
Hispanic origin
Total, 20 years and o v e r.........
Men
Women .................................

1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left a job between January
1981 and January 1986 because of plant closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of
their positions or shifts.

No te : Detail for the above race and Hispanic-origin groups will not sum to totals because data for
the ‘other races' group are not presented and Hispanics are included in both the white and black
population groups.

ultimately close its doors, those with longer tenure are likely
to be still on the job when the decision to shut down is made.
The 5.1 million displaced workers can be divided into
three roughly equivalent groups on the basis of their job
tenure. About one-third had been on their jobs for 3 to 4
years, one-third for 5 to 9 years, and the remaining third for
10 years or more. Median tenure on the lost jobs was 6.6
years. (See table 5.)
The proportion of older workers displaced from jobs of
long tenure was noticeably higher in 1986 than in 1984. In
the 1986 survey, it was found that nearly two-fifths of the
displaced men age 55 and over had lost jobs which they had
held for 20 years or more.

who fear the anger of disgruntled employees and the possi­
ble reduction in productivity.3
In both the 1984 and 1986 surveys, a question was asked
regarding whether the displaced worker had received an
advance notice, or had left the business because he or she
expected to be released.4 About 45 percent of the displaced
workers in the 1986 survey said they had not received
notification prior to displacement. (See table 6.) Among
those affected by plant closings or moves, about 40 percent
neither were notified in advance nor had anticipated the
closing.
Among the workers who had received an advance notice
or had expected an impending closing, the proportion that
was reemployed by January 1986 was greater than it was
among those without warning of a layoff, but by a small
margin—69 versus 64 percent. Among those who had been
laid off because of plant closings, the difference in the
reemployment rates between those with and without preno­
tification was even smaller.

Before, during, and after displacements
Notification of dismissal. An important issue in debates
surrounding plant closing legislation has been the question
of advance notification of workers about to be laid off. It is
argued that advance notification allows the workers a better
chance of finding new jobs by possibly beginning their job
search efforts while still employed. On the other hand, ad­
vance notice is viewed unfavorably by some employers,




Reasons for dismissals. More than half of the 5.1 million
displaced workers reported that they had lost their jobs be­
5

be equated with unemployment, the latter condition imply­
ing jobseeking.
Displaced workers who were employed in January 1986
reported a much shorter period without work, the median
being 13 weeks. About 1 of every 3 reemployed displaced
workers had spent less than 5 weeks without work.
When surveyed, unemployed displaced workers had been
jobless for a median duration of 21 weeks. This group and
displaced older persons were more likely to report longer
periods without work than were younger persons.
The measurement of “weeks without work” presents a
difficult challenge. For example, for the reemployed the
reporting may relate to a period in the distant past, the length
of which is only vaguely remembered. For the unemployed,
the spell of joblessness may still be in progress and could
possibly last much longer than reported in the survey. And,
as already noted, for persons outside the labor force, the
“weeks without work” could relate to periods which, al­
though long, might have included few, if any, attempts to
find another job.

cause of plant closings or moves. (See table 7.) About
one-third offered “slack work” as the reason for their dis­
missals. The remaining persons reported that they had been
working on jobs or shifts which were abolished.
The reasons offered for the dismissals were closely re­
lated to age, with older workers more likely to be affected
by plant closings. For example, about two-thirds of the
workers age 55 and over were dismissed because of plant
closings, while only about half of those age 25 to 34 were
released for this reason. It is likely that seniority would offer
older workers some protection against dismissal during peri­
ods of “slack work,” whereas they would have no protection
if the plant closed down.

Weeks without work. Displaced workers were asked to
estimate the number of weeks they were without work fol­
lowing job loss. The median period for the entire 5.1 million
was about 18 weeks. It should be noted that, for many
persons, this included periods spent outside the labor force.
For example, displaced workers who were not in the labor
force in January 1986 reported the longest spells without
work, typically stretching over a year in length. (See table
8.) For these persons, the time spent “out of work” cannot

Receipt of unemployment insurance. For many displaced
workers, loss of income was cushioned by their receipt of

Table 6. Displaced workers by age, whether they received advanced notice or expected layoff, selected reason for job loss,
and employment status in January 1986
[Percent distribution]
Plant or company closed down or moved

Total who lost jobs
Employment status, January 1986
Characteristic

Employment status, January 1986

Total

Employed

Unemployed

Notln
the
labor
force

2,809
1,664
240
1,421

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

68.7
69.8
70.8
69.7

15.2
14.7
10.8
15.3

16.2
15.4
17.9
15.0

16.0

1,145

1 00 0

66.9

15.9

17.2

16.3
15.5
9.1
16.5

8.6
7.6
6.8
7.7

947
598
92
506

100.0
100.0
100.0
1000

79.6
80.3
84.8
79.4

13.5
13.7
10.9
14.2

7.0
6.0
5.4
6.1

724

17.5

9.9

349

100.0

78.5

13.2

8.6

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

70.2
72.9
83.2
71.0

20.0
17.3
7.8
18.9

9.8
9.7
8.9
9.9

1,240
708
105
602

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

72.2
74.7
75.2
74.4

17.7
15.1
12.4
15.8

10.1
10.2
12.4
9.8

1,074

100.0

67.0

23.1

10.0

532

1000

688

21.2

10.0

958
497
76
421

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

43.2
41.9
32.9
43.5

15.2
15.7
5.3
17.6

41.5
42.5
61.8
39.0

621
357
43
314

100.0
1000
100.0
100.0

44.9
42.9
(2)
44.6

12.6
15.4
(2)
16.2

42.5
41.7
(2)
39.5

460

100.0

44.6

14.8

40.7

264

100.0

47.7

8.7

43.6

Total
(thousands)1

Total

Employed

Unemployed

Notln
the
labor
force

5,130
2,812
387
2,415

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

66.9
69 0
73.9
68.1

17.8
16.3
7.5
17.7

15.3
14.7
18.6
14.1

2,318

100.0

64.4

19.5

1,864
1,080
132
948

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

75.1
76.9
84.1
75.8

784

100.0

2,309
1,235
179
1,046

Total
(thousands)1

Total, 20 years and over
Total ........................................................................
Received advanced notice or expected layoff .
Left before pb ended ......................................
Did not leave before job e n d e d ......................
Did not receive advance notice or expect
layoff ....................................................................
20 to 34 years
Total ........................................................................
Received advanced notice or expected layoff .
Left before job ended ......................................
Did not leave before job e n d e d ......................
Did not receive advance notice or expect
layoff ...................................................................
35 to 54 years
Total ........................................................................
Received advanced notice or expected layoff .
Left before job ended ......................................
Did not leave before job e n d e d ......................
Did not receive advance notice or expect
layoff ...................................................................
55 years and over
Total ........................................................................
Received advanced notice or expected layoff .
Left before job ended ......................................
Did not leave before job e n d e d ......................
Did not receive advance notice or expect
layoff ...................................................................

1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left a job between January 1981
and January 1986 because of plant closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their
positions or shifts.




2 Data

6

not shown where base is less than 75,000.

unemployment insurance benefits. About 3.4 million work­
ers reported receiving unemployment benefits after they had
lost their jobs.
One reason why some displaced workers do not collect
unemployment insurance benefits is that some of them are
able to find new jobs quickly or even immediately after their
job loss. Almost 1 in 3 who were employed in January 1986
reported that they had been without work less than 5 weeks.

Table 7. Displaced workers by age, sex, race, Hispanic
origin, and reason for job loss, January 1986
[Numbers in thousands]

Age and m

Total1

Plant or
company
closed
down or
moved

Slack work

Position
or shift
abolished

5,130
222
3,950
1,641
1,326
983
467
322
169

2,809
126
2,062
821
670
571
299
214
108

1,603
68
1,338
608
460
270
101
61
36

719
28
551
212
197
142
67
47
25

3,321
146
2,605
1,091
899
616
286
196
87

1,783
85
1,337
539
439
360
186
125
50

1,145
47
968
451
338
179
68
41
21

393
14
301
101
122
77
32
29
16

1,810
76
1,345
551
427
367
180
126
82

1,026
41
724
283
231
211
113
89
59

458
21
370
157
121
92
32
20
14

326
15
250
111
75
64
35
18
9

Total
Total, 20 years and over
20 to 24 years
25 to 54 years
25 to 34 y e a rs ............
35 to 44 y e a rs ............
45 to 54 y e a rs ............
55 to 59 years
60 to 64 y e a rs ............
65 years and over . . . .

Few displaced workers moved to
other areas following the loss of their jobs. (See table 9.) For
the 14 percent who moved, the reemployment rate was
significantly higher than for those who did not move—82
versus 64 percent.
There was a pronounced difference in the relocation ac­
tivity of men and women. The proportion of displaced men
who had moved was almost twice as high as that of women.
Older displaced workers were least likely to pull up stakes
after losing their jobs. Of those age 55 and over, only about
5 percent had moved to another city or county. Among
displaced women, only about 3 percent of those age 55 and
over had moved subsequent to the job loss.

Moving to another area.

Men
Total, 20 years and o v e r..
20 to 24 years ..............
25 to 54 years ..............
25 to 34 y e a rs ............
35 to 44 y e a rs ............
45 to 54 y e a rs ............
55 to 59 y e a rs ............
60 to 64 y e a rs ............
65 years and over . . . .
Women
Total, 20 years and o v e r.
20 to 24 years
25 to 54 years ..............
25 to 34 years
35 to 44 y e a rs ............
45 to 54 y e a rs ............
55 to 59 y e a rs ...............
60 to 64 y e a rs ...............
65 years and over . . . .

The loss of group health in­
surance which usually accompanies a job loss can deal a
financial blow to workers.5 Of the displaced workers sur­
veyed in January 1986, almost 80 percent had been included
in a group health insurance plan on their lost jobs. (See table
10.) For these workers, recovery of coverage was closely
related to employment status: those who found new jobs
were usually covered by some form of insurance, either
through their new jobs or through the plans of other family
members. Only about 1 in 5 of the reemployed workers were
not covered in their new jobs. However, displaced workers
who were unemployed in January 1986 had a much higher
exposure to health cost risk; almost 60 percent of those who
had been covered on the lost job no longer had any coverage
when surveyed.

Loss o f health insurance.

1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left a job between January
1981 and January 1986 because of plant closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of
their positions or shifts.

previous job. (See table 11.)
Occupational displacement. A major concern regarding
displaced workers is that they will be unable to use the
hard-earned skills they had acquired in the jobs they lost.
Besides earnings comparisons, another way to examine the
changes forced upon displaced workers is to examine their
occupational mobility.
The major occupational groupings and the percent of
workers within each group who were able to find new jobs
in the same broad occupational classification are shown in
table 12. Of the displaced workers who were reemployed in
January 1986, 45 percent were working in the same general
occupation they had left.
For most of the occupational groups shown, the propor­
tion returning to jobs in the same broad occupation they had
left ranged between 30 and 60 percent. The lowest rates of
occupational stability across the old and new jobs were
found in the occupations of technicians and related support,
and handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and laborers.
Some of these workers may have found better jobs than the
ones they had lost. Professional specialty and precision pro­
duction, craft, and repair occupations had the highest levels
of reemployment within the same broad occupation.

Job spirals or new careers?
About 3.4 million of the 5.1 million displaced workers
were reemployed in January 1986. Almost all of these,
about 3.2 million workers, had been working at full-time
wage and salary jobs when they were dismissed. Of these,
10 percent were holding part-time jobs when surveyed. An
additional 8 percent were involved full time in their own
businesses as self-employed or unpaid family workers.
Thus, the vast majority of those working in January
1986 had returned to full-time wage and salary employ­
ment. For about 2.4 million of these workers, earnings
information was obtained for both the old and the new
jobs, making it possible to compare nominal earnings.
Overall, about 56 percent were making as much or more
than before displacement. More than half of that propor­
tion were earning 20 percent or more above pay in their




x

7

Table 8.

Displaced workers1 by weeks without work, age, and employment status, January 1986

[Numbers in thousands]
Weeks without work
Less
than 5
weeks

5 to 14
weeks

15 to 26
weeks

27 to 52
weeks

More
than 52
weeks

Median
weeks
without
work

Total:
Age 20 and o v e r..................................
25 to 54 y e a rs ..................................
25 to 34 y e a rs .............................
35 to 44 y e a r s .............................
45 to 54 y e a r s .............................
55 years and o v e r ..........................

1,371
1,089
464
352
273
211

883
734
333
233
167
101

791
634
277
200
157
109

893
674
260
270
144
183

979
664
238
213
212
308

18.3
16.5
13.4
17.4
20.1
32.8

Employed:
Age 20 and over .............................
25 to 54 y e a r s .............................
25 to 34 years ........................
35 to 44 years ........................
45 to 54 years ........................
55 years and over ......................

1,103
932
406
302
224
113

628
526
254
174
98
65

533
446
195
142
110
57

605
495
200
205
89
91

424
347
140
114
93
74

12.5
12.4
12.2
14.1
12.5
20.7

Unemployed:
Age 20 and o v e r .............................
25 to 54 y e a r s .............................
25 to 34 years ........................
35 to 44 years ........................
45 to 54 years ........................
55 years and over ......................

157
122
39
42
40
26

191
167
62
49
55
16

194
155
68
46
41
25

151
114
34
56
24
26

187
137
37
52
48
45

20.5
19.9
17.0
24.1
16.9
30.2

Not in the labor force:
Age 20 and o v e r .............................
25 to 54 y e a r s .............................
25 to 34 years ........................
35 to 44 years ........................
45 to 54 years ........................
55 years and over ......................

111
36
19
8
8
71

64
41
17
10
15
20

64
33
14
11
7
28

137
65
26
9
30
67

368
180
61
47
71
189

53.8
54.3
52.6
61.7
67.7
54.8

Age and employment status,
January 1986

1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left a job between January 1981
and January 1986 because of plant closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their

positions or shifts,

Table 9. Displaced workers1 by whether they moved to a different city or county to find or take another job, age, sex, and
current employment status
[In thousands]
Nonmovers

Movers

Employment status, January 1986
Age and sex

Total
Employed

Unemployed

Not in the
labor force

Employment status, January 1986
Total
Employed

Unemployed

Not in the
labor force

Total
Total, 20 years and o v e r...............................................................................................................
25 to 54 y e a rs .............................................................................................................................
25 to 34 y e a r s ........................................................................................................................
35 to 44 y e a r s ........................................................................................................................
45 to 54 y e a r s ........................................................................................................................
55 years and o v e r ......................................................................................................................

4,395
3,318
1,330
1.139
848
902

2,831
2,340
983
826
531
376

832
644
221
227
196
141

733
333
126
66
121
385

713
618
302
183
133
51

582
510
253
154
104
34

81
70
31
23
16
5

51
37
18
7
13
12

Men
Total, 20 years and o v e r ..............................................................................................................
25 to 54 y e a rs .............................................................................................................................
25 to 34 y e a rs ........................................................................................................................
35 to 44 y e a rs ........................................................................................................................
45 to 54 y e a r s ......................................................................................................................
55 years and o v e r ...................................................................................................................

2,758
2,119
855
755
510
525

1,884
1,571
664
571
335
236

553
450
165
155
131
74

321
98
26
29
44
215

548
478
229
144
104
41

455
403
198
122
83
24

66
59
25
19
16
5

28
16
6
4
6
12

Women
Total. 20 years and o v e r ...............................................................................................................
25 to 54 y e a rs .............................................................................................................................
25 to 34 y e a r s ........................................................................................................................
35 to 44 y e a r s ........................................................................................................................
45 to 54 y e a r s ........................................................................................................................
55 years and o v e r ......................................................................................................................

1,637
1,198
476
385
338
377

946
770
318
255
197
140

279
194
57
73
65
67

411
234
100
57
77
170

165
140
72
39
28
10

127
107
55
32
21
10

15
11
7
4

24
21
11
3
7
-

1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left a job between January 1981
and January 1986 because of plant closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their




positions or shifts,

8

_

-

Table 10.

Displaced workers by health insurance coverage, employment status, and selected characteristics, January 1986

[Numbers in thousands]
Covered by group health insurance on loet job
Not covered on
lost job

Not covered under eny
plan In January 1966

Total1

Characteristic

Total
Number

Percent

Total
Total, 20 years and o v e r........................................................................................
Employed.............................................................................................................
Unemployed.........................................................................................................
Not in the labor force ........................................................................................

5,130
3,432
912
786

3,977
2,722
678
577

1,274
610
398
265

32.0
22.4
58.7
45.9

1,082
661
220
201

3,321
2,353
619
349

2,711
1,937
479
295

809
390
288
130

29.8
20.1
60.1
44.1

562
382
129
51

1,810
1,079
294
437

1,266
784
199
282

465
220
110
135

36.7
28.1
55.3
47.9

520
279
90
150

4,452
2,936
1,516

3,478
2,427
1,051

1,036
681
356

29.8
28.1
33.9

916
472
445

581
312
268

437
236
200

217
116
101

49.7
49.2
50.5

134
69
65

311
208
103

214
149
65

94
60
34

43.9
40.3
52.3

84
49
36

Men
Total, 20 years and o v e r........................................................................................
Employed.............................................................................................................
Unemployed.........................................................................................................
Not in the labor force ........................................................................................
Women
Total, 20 years and o v e r........................................................................................
Employed.............................................................................................................
Unemployed.........................................................................................................
Not in the labor force ........................................................................................
White
Total, 20 years and o v e r........................................................................................
Men .
Women ................................................................................................................
Black
Total, 20 years and o v e r........................................................................................
Men
. . .
Women ................................................................................................................
Hispanic origin
Total, 20 years and o v e r........................................................................................
Men .......................................................................................................................
Women ................................................................................................................

1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left a job between January 1981
and January 1966 because of plant closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their

positions or shifts,

Table 11. Displaced workers who lost full-time wage and salary jobs and were reemployed in January 1986, by industry of
lost job and characteristics of new job
[In thousands]
Full-time wage and aaiary job
Earnings rotative to thoae of lost job

Total
reemployed,
January
1986

Parttime
job

Total1

Total who lost full-time wage and salary jobs2 ........................

3,236

333

Construction..............................................................................
Manufacturing............................................................................
Durable goods.......................................................................
Primary metal industries..................................................
Steel3 ..............................................................................
Other primary metals .......................................................
Fabricated metal products..................................................
Machinery, except electrical.............................................
Electrical machinery ...........................................................
Transportation equipment ..................................................
Automobiles.......................................................................
Other transportation equipment ....................................
Nondurable goods................................................................

250
1,657
1,105
146
118
28
116
258
136
190
102
88
552

15
162
106
13
13

Transportation and public utilities .............................................
Wholesale and retail trade .........................................................
Finance and service industries..................................................
Public administration ..................................................................
Other industries4 ..........................................................................

257
415
426
34
197

Industry of lost job

20
percent or
more
below

Below,
but within
20
percent

Equal or
above,
but
within 20
percent

20
percent or
more
above

2,655

730

342

651

712

248

16
18
11
19
12
6
56

198
1,410
931
122
97
24
85
232
119
165
87
78
478

53
432
300
54
51
4
29
76
46
38
11
27
131

24
186
102
10
8
2
8
33
16
7
7
84

51
333
216
24
14
10
16
58
21
53
30
24
117

63
356
243
20
16
4
21
53
31
54
38
15
113

37
85
68
11
7
3
15
8
6
6
3
3
17

15
43
68
3
28

217
331
309
28
162

68
62
59
4
53

28
40
41
4
19

59
78
87
7
35

37
116
100
9
30

25
40
49
3
7

-

1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left a full-time wage and salary
job between January 1981 and January 1986 because of plant closings or moves, slack work, or
their positions or shifts were abolished.

-

3 Includes blast furnaces, steelworks, rolling and finishing mills, and iron and steel furnaces,
.. . .
.
.
^
.
Includes a small number who did not report industry.

2 Includes 220 persons who did not report earnings on lost job.




Self
employ­
ment or
other
full-time
job

9

Table 12. Displaced workers by selected occupations and percent reemployed in the same occupations or in service occu­
pations, January 1986
[Numbers in thousands]
Percent
in same
occupation

Percent
in service
occupations

Total1
2

Total
reemployed

Executive, administrative, and managerial .......................................................................................
Professional specialty..............................................................................................................................

487
295

351
229

43.0
59.8

0.2
5.2

Technicians and related support..........................................................................................................
Sales occupations ..................................................................................................................................
Administrative support, including clerical............................................................................................

174
447
504

133
291
341

30.1
45.3
44.9

6.7
6.2
7.6

Service occupations................................................................................................................................

254

136

52.2

52.2

Precision production, craft, and re p a ir.................................................................................................
Machine operators, assemblers, and inspectors .............................................................................
Transportation and material moving occupations.............................................................................
Handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and laborers ....................................................................

1,018
1,870
1,197
328

697
767
205
225

55.7
36.6
45.9
26.7

7.3
18.4
11.2
10.7

Farming, forestry, and fishing...............................................................................................................

80

58

Occupation

1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left a job between January
1981 and January 1986 because of plant closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of

(2)

(2)

their positions or shifts.
2 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.

It is interesting to compare the shift into service occupa­
tions found among reemployed displaced workers. Machine
operators, assemblers, and inspectors, who accounted for
almost one-fourth of all displaced workers, were more likely
than most other workers to move into service jobs. Still,
only about 18 percent of the displaced operators, assem­
blers, and inspectors were working in service-related occu­
pations.

Total

Two jobs
or more

One job

No jobs

T o ta l...................... ..

100.0

29.0

48.5

22.5

Employed.............. ..
Unemployed.......... ..
Not in the labor
fo rc e .................. ..

100.0
100.0

36.7
16.5

63.3
18.6

—
64.8

100.0

10.2

18.3

71.5

Summary
The 1986 survey of displaced workers presents a more
positive picture of post-displacement success than the one
conducted in 1984, reflecting the effect of continued em­
ployment growth in the economy. While the overall level of
displacement was little changed, the number of displaced
workers who were reemployed at the time of the survey was
7 percentage points higher. The regional distribution, while
still not evenly balanced across the country, improved
slightly, in that the rate of reemployment in areas which had
been hardest hit was now closer to the national average.
However persistent unemployment has remained among
some groups. Levels of reemployment among older
workers were still relatively low. Reemployment rates of
women lagged behind those of men by about 10 percentage
points.

Number of jobs held since displacement. Another indica­
tor of the stability or suitability of the new jobs is the
frequency with which displaced workers change them. Nu­
merous short-term stretches of employment or quits could
indicate the difficulty of finding acceptable work. A ques­
tion was added to the 1986 survey regarding the number of
jobs held since displacement. About one-third of those un­
employed in January and just over one-fourth of those out­
side the labor force had held a job at some time following
their displacement. As shown in the following tabulation,
nearly two-thirds of those who were employed when sur­
veyed were working on their first and only job held since the
original job loss. The remainder had, of course, held more
than one job since displacement.

1 For a more detailed discussion of the findings from the first survey of
displaced workers, see Paul O. Flaim and Ellen Sehgal, “Displaced work­
ers of 1979-83: how well have they fared?” Monthly Labor Review, June
1985, pp. 3-16; Richard Devens, “Displaced workers: one year later,”
Monthly Labor Review, July 1986, pp. 40-43; and U S. Congress, Office
of Technology Assessment, Technology and Structural Unemployment:
Reemploying D isplaced Adults, ota -ite-250 (Washington, Government
Printing Office, February 1986).

Budget Office, D islocated Workers: Issues and Federal Options (Wash­
ington, Government Printing Office, July 1982).
3 Additional information on advance notification is available from the
Permanent Mass Layoffs and Plant Closings program. See the accompany­
ing article by Sharon P. Brown.
4 “Advance notice” was defined as 30 days, but the definition did not
appear in the specific wording of the question asked the respondent.

2 The level of concern about displaced worker issues can be seen in
Kevin Hollenbeck, Frank Pratzner, and Howard Rosen, eds., D isplaced
Workers: Implications fo r Educational and Training Institutions (Colum­
bus, Ohio State University, 1984); and U.S. Congress, Congressional




5 For another look at the loss of health benefits for displaced workers, see
Michael Podgursky and Paul Swaim, “Job displacement and health in­
surance loss,” Monthly Labor Review, April 1987 , pp. 30-33.
10

A p p e n d ix A . E x p lan ato ry N ote

As noted earlier, in tabulating the data from this survey
the only workers considered to have been displaced from their
jobs were those who reported job losses arising from: (1)
The closing down or moving of a plant or company, (2) slack
work, or (3) the abolishment of their position or shift. This
means that workers whose job losses stemed from the com­
pletion of seasonal work, the failure of self-employment
businesses, or other miscellaneous reasons were not included
among those deemed to have been displaced. A further
condition for inclusion among the displaced workers, for the
purpose of this study, was tenure of at least 3 years on the
lost job.
In examining the displaced workers who were unemployed
in January 1986, it is important to note that not all were con­
tinually unemployed since the job loss they reported. Many,
particularly those who reported job losses which occurred
in 1981-82, may subsequently have held other jobs, only to
find themselves unemployed once again in January 1986.

The data presented in this report were obtained through
a special survey conducted in January 1986 as a supplement
to the Current Population Survey (CPS), the monthly survey
of about 59,500 households which provides the basic data
on employment and unemployment for the Nation. The
purpose of this supplementary survey was to obtain infor­
mation on the number and characteristics of workers 20 years
of age and over who had been displaced from their jobs over
the previous 5 years, that is, over the period from January
1981 to January 1986. This survey updates a previous sup­
plement on displaced workers conducted in January 1984.

Concepts and Definitions
In order to identify workers who had been displaced
from jobs, the survey respondents were first asked whether
the household member had lost a job during the period in
question because of a plant closing, an employer going out
of business, a layoff from which the respondent was not
recalled, or other similar reasons. If the answer to this ques­
tion was “ yes,” the respondent was asked to identify, among
the following reasons, the one which best fit the reason for
the job loss:
Plant or company closed down or moved
Plant or company was operating but job was lost
because of:
Slack work
Position or shift was abolished
Seasonal job was completed
Self-employment business failed
Other reasons

Estimating Methods
The estimation procedure used in this survey involves the
inflation of the weighted sample results to independent esti­
mates of the total civilian noninstitutional population of the
United States by age, race, Hispanic origin, and sex. These
independent estimates are based on updated statistics from
the 1980 decennial census and the statistics on births, deaths,
immigration and emigration, and the Armed Forces. The
estimation procedure for the data in this report also involves
a further adjustment to control weighted sample results to
composited CPS estimates of employment characteristics.
Rounding of estimates

After ascertaining the reason for the job loss, a series of
questions were asked about the nature of the lost jo b including the year it was lost, the years of tenure, the earn­
ings, and the availability of health insurance. Other ques­
tions were asked to determine what transpired after the job
loss such as: How long did the person go without work, did
he or she receive unemployment insurance benefits, were
the benefits exhausted, the number of jobs held, and, finally,
did the person move after the job loss. If the person was
reemployed at the time of the interview, follow-up questions
were asked to determine the current earnings. And, regard­
less of the employment status at the time of the interview,
a question was asked of all those who had been reported as
having lost a job to determine whether they currently had
any health insurance coverage.




The sums of individual items may not always equal the
totals shown in the same tables because of independent round­
ing of totals and components to the nearest thousand. Simi­
larly, sums of percent distributions may not always equal
100 percent because of rounding. Differences, however, are
insignificant.
Reliability of the estimates
Since the estimates in this report are based on a sample,
they may differ somewhat from the figures that would have
been obtained had a complete census been taken using the
same questionnaires, instructions, and enumerators. There
11

of the large standard errors involved, there is little chance
that summary measures would reveal useful information
when computed on a smaller base. Estimated numbers are
shown, however, even though the relative standard errors
of these numbers are larger than those for corresponding
percentages. These smaller estimates are provided primarily
to permit such combinations of the categories as serve each
user’s needs.
In order to derive standard errors that would be applicable
to a large number of estimates and could be prepared at a
moderate cost, a number of approximations were required.
Therefore, instead of providing an individual standard
error for each estimate, generalized sets of standard errors
are provided for various types of characteristics. As a result,
the sets of standard errors provided give an indication of the
order of magnitude of the standard error of an estimate rather
than the precise standard error.
The figures presented in tables A-2 and A-3 are approxi­
mations of standard errors for various estimates. To obtain
standard errors for specific characteristics other than Hispanic
levels, factors from table A-l must be applied to the
standard errors given in tables A-2 and A-3 in order to
adjust for the combined effect of sample design and the
estimating procedure on the value of the characteristic.
Standard errors for Hispanic levels should be calculated
directly using the formula for the standard error of an esti­
mated number and the parameters in table A-l. Standard
errors for intermediate values not shown iri the generalized
tables of standard errors may be approximated by interpo­
lation.
Two parameters (denoted “ a” and “ b” ) are used to
calculate standard errors for each characteristic; they are
presented in table A -l. These parameters were used to derive
the standard errors in tables A-2 and A-3, and to calculate
the factors in table A -l. They also may be used to calculate
directly the standard errors for estimated numbers and
percentages. Methods for direct computation are given in
the following sections.

are two types of errors possible in an estimate based on a
sample survey—sampling and nonsampling. The standard
errors provided for this report primarily indicate the magni­
tude of the sampling error. They also partially measure the
effect of some nonsampling errors in response and enumer­
ation, but do not measure any systematic biases in the data.
The full extent of the nonsampling error is unknown.
Consequently, particular care should be exercised in the
interpretation of figures based on a relatively small number
of cases or on small differences between estimates.

Nonsampling variability. Nonsampling errors in surveys
can be attributed to many sources, e.g., inability to ob­
tain information about all cases in the sample, definitional
difficulties, differences in the interpretation of questions,
inability or unwillingness of respondents to provide correct
information, inability to recall information, errors made in
collection such as in recording or coding the data, errors
made in processing the data, errors made in estimating values
for missing data, and failure to represent all units within the
sample (undercoverage).
Sampling variability. The standard errors given in the fol­
lowing tables are primarily measures of sampling variability,
that is, of the variation that occurred by chance because a
sample rather than the entire population was surveyed. The
sample estimate and its estimated standard error enable one
to construct confidence intervals, ranges that would include
the average result of all possible samples with a known prob­
ability. For example, if all possible samples were selected,
each of these surveyed under essentially the same general
conditions and using the same sample design, and if an
estimate and its estimated standard error were calculated from
each sample, then:
1. Approximately 68 percent of the intervals from one
standard error below the estimate to one standard error above
the estimate would include the average result of all possible
samples.
2. Approximately 90 percent of the intervals from 1.6
standard errors below the estimate to 1.6 standard errors
above the estimate would include the average result of all
possible samples.
3. Approximately 95 percent of the intervals from two
standard errors below the estimate to two standard errors
above the estimate would include the average result of all
possible samples.

Standard errors of estimated numbers. The approximate
standard error, °x, of an estimated number can be obtained
in two ways. It may be obtained by use of the formula
(1)

v 4 x 2 + bx

where x is the size of the estimate and a and b are the
parameters in table A-l associated with the particular type
of characteristic. Alternately, the standard error of an
estimate may be obtained by use of the formula

The average estimate derived from all possible samples
is or is not contained in any particular computed interval.
However, for a particular sample, one can say with a speci­
fied confidence that the average estimate derived from all
possible samples is included in the confidence interval.
As a general rule, summary measures such as medians,
means, and percent distributions are not published when the
monthly base of the measure is less than 75,000. Because




ax =

(2)

ox = fa

where f is the appropriate factor from table A-l and a
is the standard error of the estimate obtained by interpola­
tion from table A-2. The standard errors in table A-2 were
derived using formula (1) above and the total employment
12

the appropriate b parameter is 2,206. Using formula 3, the
approximate standard error on 54.8 percent is

parameters given in table A -l. Direct computation of the
standard errors using formula (1) will give more accurate
results than use of the interpolation in the standard error table.

0(x,p)=

Illustration: As indicated in table 4, there were 3,432,000
workers who lost or left a job involuntarily in the past 5 years
and were employed in January 1986. From table A-l the
appropriate parameters are a = -0.000016 and b = 2,327.
Using formula (1), the approximate standard error on an
estimate of 3,432,000 is
a *VA).000016 (3,432,000) n2 +

2,327 (3,432,000) i =

88,000
Alternatively, by interpolation in table A-2, the standard
error on 3,432,000 using a factor of 1.0 and rounding to the
nearest thousand is 88,000 (1.0 x 88,000).
Using the 88,000 estimate of standard error, the 68
percent confidence interval as shown by the data is from
3.344.000 to 3,520,000. Therefore, a conclusion that the
average estimate derived from all possible samples lies
within a range computed in this way would be correct for
roughly 68 percent of all possible samples. Similarly, we
could conclude with 95 percent confidence that the number
of displaced workers who were currently employed in
January 1986 lies within the interval from 3,256,000 to
3.608.000 (using twice the standard error).

°(y.p ) =

Alternately, by interpolation in table A-3, the standard
error on 54.8 percent using a factor of 0.97 is 1.0 (0.97 x
1.05) percentage points.
Therefore, using the 1.0 estimate of standard error, the
68-percent confidence interval of the percentage of displaced
workers who lost their jobs when a plant or company closed
down or moved is from 53.8 to 55.8, and the 95-percent
confidence interval is from 52.8 to 56.8.

(5)

V y ) = V o !x

where ax and
are the standard errors of the estimates
x and y; the estimates can be of numbers, percents, ratios,
etc. This* will represent the actual standard errors quite
accurately for the difference between two estimates of the
same characteristic in two different areas, or for the differ­
ence between separate and uncorrelated characteristics in the
same area. If, however, there is a high positive (negative)
correlation between the two characteristics, the formula will
overestimate (underestimate) the true standard error.
Illustration: Suppose that of the 3,321,000 male displaced
workers, 2,353,000 or 70.9 percent were employed in
January 1986, and of the 1,810,000 female displaced
workers, 1,079,000 or 59.6 percent were employed in
January 1986. The apparent difference between these two
groups is 11.3 percentage points. Using formula (3) and the
appropriate b parameters (2,013 for males and 1,725 for
females) from table A-l, the standard error on 70.9 percent
with a base of 3,321,000 is approximately 1.1 percentage
points, and for 59.6 percent with a base of 1,810,000 is
approximately 1.5 percentage points. Using formula (5), the
standard error on the estimated difference of 11.3 percentage
points is approximately

V t - .p (loo-p)

where y is the size of the subclass of persons which is the
base of the percentage, p is the percentage (0< p < 100),
and b is the parameter in table A-l associated with the
particular type of characteristic in the numerator of the per­
centage. Alternately, standard errors may be approximated
by use of the formula
(4) <*x = f o

where f is the appropriate factor from table A-l and o
is the standard error of the estimates obtained by interpola­
tion from table A-3. The standard errors in table A-3 were
computed using formula (3) above and the total employment
parameters in table A -l. Direct computation of the standard
errors using formula (3) will provide more accurate results
than use of the standard error tables.

°

(x-y) = V d . l) 2 +

(1.5)2 = 1.9

This means that the 68-percent confidence interval around
the difference is from 9.4 to 13.2, and the 95-percent confi­
dence interval is from 7.5 to 15.1. Since this interval does
not include zero, we can conclude with 95-percent confidence
that the percentage of male displaced workers currently
employed is greater than the percentage of female displaced
workers currently employed.

Illustration: Suppose that of the 5,130,000 displaced
workers, 2,809,000 or 54.8 percent lost their jobs when a
plant or company closed down or moved. From table A -l,




(54.8) (45.2) = 1.0

Standard error o f a difference. For a difference between two
sample estimates, the standard error is approximately equal to

Standard errors o f estimated percentages. The approximate
standard error of an estimated percentage, O (y,p), can be
computed in two ways. It may be obtained by use of the
formula
O)

V 2 ' 206 ■
■
5,130,000

13

Table A-2. Standard errors for estimated numbers
(In thousand)

Table A-1. “ a” and " b ” parameters for computing approximate
standard errors of estimated numbers, percentages, and labor
force participation rates for estimates of CPS labor force data

Size of estimate
C haracteristic

a

Agricultural em ploym ent:
All ra c e s ......................................................... -0 .0 0 0 0 2 8
Hispanic o r ig in ............................................. -.000141

b

3,702
1,753

Standard error1

1 0 ........................................................
2 5 ........................................................
5 0 ........................................................
1 0 0 ........................................................
250 ........................................................
500 ........................................................
1,000 ........................................................
2,500 ........................................................
5,000 ........................................................
7,500 ........................................................
10,000 ........................................................
15,000 ........................................................
20,000 ........................................................
30,000 ........................................................
40.000 ........................................................
50.000 .......................................................
70,000 ........................................................
100.000 .......................................................

5
8
11
15
24
34
48
76
106
129
147
177
200
235
260
276
291
270

f'

1.26
.87

All labor force data other than
agricultural em ploym ent and
unem ploym ent data:
T o ta l................................................................

-.0 0 0 0 1 6

2,327

1.00

W hite .............................................................
Black .............................................................
H ispanic o r ig in .............................................

-.0 0 0 0 1 8
-.0 0 0 1 4 4
-.0 0 0 1 0 9

2,327
2,327
1,241

1.00
1.00
.73

Both sexes, 16 to 19 y e a r s .....................
White, 16 to 19 years ...............................
Black, 16 to 19 years ...............................
Hispanic origin, 16
to 19 y e a rs ..................................................

-.0 0 0 1 8 3
-.0 0 0 2 1 4
-.0 0 1 2 6 2

2,327
2,327
2,327

1.00
1.00
1.00

-.0 0 0 7 9 9

1,241

.73

-.0 0 0 0 2 5

2,013

.93

-.0 0 0 0 2 7
-.0 0 0 2 4 3
-.0 0 0 2 2 2
-.0 0 0 0 3 0
-.0 0 0 2 7 8

2,013
2,013
1,241
2,013
2,013

.93
.93
.73
.93
.93

M e n ................................................................
Men, 20 years and over
or white m e n .............................................
Black m e n ....................................................
Hispanic-origin m e n ...................................
W hite men, 20 years and o v e r ..............
Black men, 20 years and o v e r ..............
W omen, total or w h i t e ...............................
Women, 20 years and over,
total or white .............................................
Black wom en, total or black
w om en, 20 years and o v e r ...................
H ispanic-origin w om en ............................
U nem ploym ent
Total or w h ite ...............................................
Black .............................................................
Hispanic o r ig in .............................................

-.0 0 0 0 1 9

1,725
1,725
1,725
1,241

.86
73

-.0 0 0 0 1 5
-.000151
-.0 0 0 0 9 4

2,206
2,536
1,075

Estimated percentage
Base of
percentage

.86

-.0 0 0 1 6 4
-.0 0 0 2 1 3

Table A-3. Standard errors for estimated percentages
(In thousand)

.86

-.000021

1 To obtain standard errors for the characteristic of interest, multiply these
values by the appropriate factor provided in table A-1.

.97
1.04
68

75
100
250
500
1,000
2,500
5,000
7,500
12 000
25,000
50,000
100,000

1These factors are to be applied to the standard errors in tables A-2 and A-3
to compute standard errors for the given type of characteristic.
NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, parasseter refer to persons 16 years of
age and over.




........
.......
........
........
.......
.......
.......
.......
.......
.......
.......

1
or
99

2
or
98

5
or
95

10
or
90

15
or
85

25
or
75

50

1.8
1.5
1.0
.7
.5
.3
.2
.2
.14
.10
.07
.05

2.5
2.1
1.4
1.0
.7
.4
.3
.2
.2
14
.10
.07

3.8
3.3
2.1
1.5
1.1
.7
.5
.4
.3
.2
.15
.11

5.3
4.6
2.9
2.0
1.4
.9
.6
.5
.4
.3
.2
.14

6.3
5.4
3.4
2.4
1.7
1.1
.8
.6
.5
.3
2
.2

7.6
6.6
4.2
3.0
2.1
1.3
.9
.8
.6
.4
.3
.2

8.8
7.6
4.8
3.4
2.4
1.5
1.1
.9
.7
.5
.3
2

1 To obtain standard errors for the characteristic of interest, multiply these
values by the appropriate factor provided in table A-1.

14

Appendix B. Supplementary Tables

Table B-1. Displaced workers by year of job loss, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and employment status in January 1986
Percent distribution by employment status in January 1986
Sex, race, Hispanic origin, and year of job loss

Total'
(in thousands)

Total

Employed

Unemployed

Not in the
labor force

5,130
775
1,082
949
971
1,349

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

66.9
75.7
76.6
71.6
70.3
48.1

17.8
9.2
6.7
10.9
14.1
39.2

15.3
15.2
16.7
17.5
15.6
12.6

3,321
541
719
584
606
867

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

70.9
79.8
82.0
76.9
74.9
49.1

18.6
9.9
7.0
11.5
15.2
41.0

10.5
10.3
11.0
11.6
9.9
9.9

1,810
234
362
365
365
482

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

59.6
66.1
66.0
63.1
62.8
46.5

16.2
7.5
6.1
10.0
12.1
36.0

24.1
26.4
27.9
26.9
25.1
17.5

4,452
2,459
1,988

100.0
100.0
100.0

68.2
75.2
59.4

16.2
7.7
26.9

15.6
17.1
13.7

581
297
283

100.0
100.0
100.0

57.7
70.1
44.6

29.2
18.0
41.0

13.1
11.9
14.4

315
154
161

100.0
100.0
100.0

57.2
67.2
47.7

26.8
12.1
41.0

15.9
20.8
11.2

TOTAL
Total, 20 years and over...................................................................................
Lost job in: 1981 .............................................................................................
1982 ................................................................................................
1983 ................................................................................................
1984 ................................................................................................
19852...............................................................................................
Men
Total, 20 years and over ..................................................................................
Lost job in: 1981 .............................................................................................
1982 ................................................................................................
1983 ................................................................................................
1984 ................................................................................................
19852 ...............................................................................................
Women
Total, 20 years and o ver..................................................................................
Lost job in: 1981 .............................................................................................
1982 ................................................................................................
1983 ................................................................................................
1984 ................................................................................................
19852...............................................................................................
White
Total, 20 years and over...................................................................................
Lost job in: 1981-83 .......................................................................................
1984-852 .........................................................................................
Black
Total, 20 years and o ver...................................................................................
Lost job in: 1981-83 .......................................................................................
1984-852 .........................................................................................
Hispanic origin
Total, 20 years and over ..................................................................
Lost job in: 1981-83 ................................................................................
1984-852 .................................................................................
1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left
a job between January 1981 and January 1986 because of plant
closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their positions or
shifts. Includes a small number of persons who did not report the year of
job loss.




2 Includes a small number of workers who lost jobs in January 1986.
NOTE: Detail for race and Hispanic-origin groups will not sum to
totals because data for the “other races" group are not presented and
Hispanics are included in both the white and black population groups.

15

Table B-2. Displaced workers by full- or part-time status on lost job, age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and employment status
in January 1986
Percent distribution by employment status in January 1986
Total'
(in thousands)

Full- or part-time status on lost job, age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin

Total

Employed

Unemployed

Not in the
labor force

5,130

100.0

66.9

17.8

15.3

4,857
199
3,783
745
129

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

67.6
66.6
72.9
47.9
25.0

18.3
24.9
18.4
17.8
5.6

14.2
8.6
8.6
34.2
69.4

3,259
129
2,577
478
75

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

71.2
72.2
76.3
50.4
28.5

18.8
21.5
19.6
15.4
7.2

10.0
6.3
4.2
34.1
64.3

1,598
71
1,206
267
54

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

60.1
(2
)
65.8
43.5
(2
)

17.3
16.0
22.1

22.6
ft
18.2
34.4

ft

ft

4,199
2,885
1,313

100.0
100.0
100.0

69.0
72.8
60.7

16.7
16.9
16.4

14.2
10.2
23.0

565
303
262

100.0
100.0
100.0

57.3
57.5
57.2

29.2
36.0
21.3

13.5
6.5
21.6

306
205
101

100.0
100.0
100.0

57.4
64.7
42.6

27.7
28.3
26 4

15.0
7.1
31.0

270
60
210

100.0
100.0
100.0

54.8

9.2

36.0

TOTAL
Total, 20 years and o ve r....................................................................................
FULL TIME ON LOST JOB
Total, 20 years and o ver....................................................................................
20 to 24 years..................................................................................................
25 to 54 years..................................................................................................
55 to 64 years..................................................................................................
65 years and over............................................................................................
Men
Total, 20 years and o ver....................................................................................
20 to 24 years..................................................................................................
25 to 54 years..................................................................................................
55 to 64 years..................................................................................................
65 years and over............................................................................................
Women
Total, 20 years and o ver....................................................................................
20 to 24 years..................................................................................................
25 to 54 years..................................................................................................
55 to 64 years..................................................................................................
65 years and over............................................................................................

ft

White
Total, 20 years and o ver....................................................................................
Women..............................................................................................................
Black
Total, 20 years and o ver....................................................................................
Women..............................................................................................................
Hispanic origin
Total, 20 years and o ver....................................................................................
M en ............................................................................
Women....................................................................................................
PART TIME ON LOST JOB
Total, 20 years and o ver....................................................................................
M en ..........................................................................
Women..................................................................
1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left
a job between January 1981 and January 1986 because of plant
closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their positions or
shifts. Includes a small number of persons who did not report their fullor part-time status on lost job.




ft

55.8

ft

8.4

ft

35.8

2 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.
NOTE: Detail for race and Hispanic-origin groups will not sum to
totals because data for the “other races” group are not presented and
Hispanics are included in both the white and black population groups.

16

Table B-3. Displaced workers by educational attainment, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and employment status
in January 1986
Percent distribution by employment status in January 1986
Total1
(in thousands)

Educational attainment, sex, race, and Hispanic origin

Total

Employed

Unemployed

Not in the
labor force

5,130
466
686
2,362
956
661

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

66.9
41.9
57.4
68.2
73.4
80.3

17.8
26.6
21.9
17.4
16.7
10.3

15.3
31.4
20.6
14.4
9.9
9.4

3,321
325
441
1,448
629
477

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

70.9
47.5
62.2
71.9
79.4
80.3

18.6
27.1
24.2
18.6
16.0
11.3

10.5
25.5
13.6
9.5
4.6
8.4

1,810
141
245
914
326
184

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

59.6
29.3
48.8
62.4
61.8
80.1

16.2
25.6
17.8
15.4
18.0
7.7

24.1
45.1
33.3
22.2
20.2
12.2

4,452
963
2,088
1,401

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

68.2
51.8
69.6
77.2

16.2
22.7
15.7
12.6

15.6
25.5
14.7
10.2

581
168
240
172

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

57.7
45.4
60.9
65.1

29.2
31.5
28.9
27.4

13.1
23.1
10.1
7.5

315
161
71
83

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

57.2
42.8

26.8
36.7

15.9
20.5

ft

ft

TOTAL
Total, 20 years and o ver..................................................................................
Elementary school only...................................................................................
High school: 1 to 3 years...............................................................................
4 years............................................................................................
College:
1 to 3 years .................................................................................
4 years or more .............................................................................
Men
Total, 20 years and o ver...................................................................................
Elementary school only...................................................................................
High school: 1 to 3 years ...............................................................................
4 years............................................................................................
College:
1 to 3 years.................................................................................
4 years or more .............................................................................
Women
Total, 20 years and over ..................................................................................
Elementary school only...................................................................................
High school: 1 to 3 years...............................................................................
4 years............................................................................................
College:
1 to 3 years .................................................................................
4 years or more .............................................................................
White
Total, 20 years and over ...................................................................................
Less than 4 years of high school..................................................................
4 years of high school ....................................................................................
1 year of college or more...............................................................................
Black
Total, 20 years and o ver..................................................................................
Less than 4 years of high school..................................................................
4 years of high school ............................................................................
1 year of college or more...............................................................................
Hispanic origin
Total, 20 years and o ver................................................................
Less than 4 years of high school..........................................
4 years of high school ...................................
1 year of college or more........................................................
1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left
a job between January 1981 and January 1986 because of plant
closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their positions or
shifts.




80.1

8.7

ft

11.2

2 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.
NOTE: Detail for race and Hispanic-origin groups will not sum to
totals because data for the “other races" group are not presented and
Hispanics are included in both the white and black population groups.

17

Table B-4. Displaced workers by educational attainment, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and reason for job loss
Percent distribution by reason for job loss

Total

Plant or
company
closed down
or moved

Slack work

Position or
shift was
abolished

5,130
466
686
2,362
956
661

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

54.7
61.1
63.2
56.1
48.4
45.8

31.2
29.9
29.8
31.7
33.8
28.4

14.0
8.9
7.0
12.2
17.8
25.9

3,321
325
441
1,448
629
477

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

53.7
58.7
62.5
54.6
48.3
46.5

34.5
32.6
32.1
34.6
37.9
33.2

11.8
8.7
5.4
10.8
13.8
20.3

1,810
141
245
914
326
184

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

56.7
66.7
64.4
58.6
48.7
43.8

25.3
23.9
25.6
27.1
25.7
15.9

18.0
9.4
10.0
14.3
25.6
40.4

4,452
963
2,088
1,401

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

54.7
62.9
55.8
47.4

30.9
28.9
31.9
30.9

14.4
8.2
12.3
21.7

581
168
240
172

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

53.6
59.0
56.1
44.9

33.9
34.3
32.2
35.7

12.5
6.6
11.7
19.4

315
161

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

56.8
60.3

31.1
30.9

12.1
8.8

Total’
(in thousands)

Educational attainment, sex, race, and Hispanic origin

TOTAL

Total, 20 years and o ver....................................................................................
Elementary school only....................................................................................
High school: 1 to 3 years..................................................................... ..........
4 years.............................................................................................
College:
1 to 3 years ..................................................................................
4 years or more ..............................................................................
Men
Total, 20 years and o ver....................................................................................
Elementary school only....................................................................................
High school: 1 to 3 years ................................................................................
4 years.............................................................................................
College:
1 to 3 years..................................................................................
4 years or more ..............................................................................
Women
Total, 20 years and o ver....................................................................................
Elementary school only....................................................................................
High school: 1 to 3 years................................................................................
4 years.................................................................... .........................
College:
1 to 3 years..................................................................................
4 years or more ..............................................................................
White
Total, 20 years and o ver....................................................................................
Less than 4 years of high school....................................................................
4 years of high school .....................................................................................
1 year of college or more................................................................................
Black
Total, 20 years and o ver....................................................................................
Less than 4 years of high school....................................................................
4 years of high school .....................................................................................
1 year of college or more................................................................................
Hispanic origin
Total, 20 years and o ver....................................................................................
Less than 4 years of high school...................................................................
4 years of high school .....................................................................................
1 year of college or more................................................................................
' Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left
a job between January 1981 and January 1986 because of plant
closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their positions or
shifts.




71
83

ft

ft

44.8

26.3

ft
28.8

2 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.
NOTE: Detail for race and Hispanic-origin groups will not sum to
totals because data for the "other races” group are not presented and
Hispanics are included in both the white and black population groups.

18

Table B-5. Displaced workers by industry and class of worker of lost job and reason for job loss
Percent distribution by reason for job loss
Industry and class of worker of lost job

Total'
(in thousands)

Total

Plant or
company
closed down
or moved

Slack work

Position or
shift was
abolished

Total, 20 years and over..............................................................................

5,130

100.0

54.7

31.2

14.0

Nonagricultural private wage and salary workers............................................

4,772

100.0

55.8

31.7

12.5

Mining..............................................................................................................
Construction....................................................................................................

175
316

100.0
100.0

61.3
46.1

31.6
43.7

7.2
10.2

Manufacturing..................................................................................................
Durable goods..............................................................................................
Lumber and wood products......................................................................
Furniture and fixtures.................................................................................
Stone, clay, and glass products................................................................
Primary metal industries ............................................................................
Fabricated metal products ........................................................................
Machinery except electrical ......................................................................
Electrical machinery, equipment, and supplies........................................
Transportation equipment .........................................................................
Automobiles.............................................................................................
Other transportation equipment..............................................................
Professional and photographic equipment................................................
Other durable goods industries.................................................................

2,550
1,691
104
63
87
235
187
361
255
260
148
112
73
66

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

56.2
50.3
61.8
0
66.3
45.4
48.1
44.5
45.7
51.3
60.9
38.6
(2
)
ft

32.8
39.3
28.5
ft
29.1
41.0
39.6
47.2
41.7
40.8
29.2
56.1
0

11.0
10.4
9.7
(2
)
4.6
13.6
12.3
8.3
12.6
7.9
9.9
5.3
(2
)

Nondurable goods........................................................................................
Food and kindred products.......................................................................
Textile mill products..................................................................................
Apparel and other finished textile products..............................................
Paper and allied products.........................................................................
Printing and publishing...............................................................................
Chemical and allied products...................................................................
Rubber and miscellaneous plastics products...........................................
Other nondurable goods industries...........................................................

859
178
123
171
39
94
98
67
88

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

67.8
73.1
62.7
84.6
0
65.3
40.9
<
*>
76.3

19.9
17.2
26.3
10.7
ft
14.7
43.7
0
10.6

12.3
9.7
11.0
4.7
ft
20.0
15.5
(2
)
13.1

Transportation and public utilities..................................................................
Transportation...............................................................................................
Communication and other public utilities....................................................

386
303
83

100.0
100.0
100.0

52.6
54.8
44.6

31.7
33.8
24.0

15.7
11.4
31.4

Wholesale and retail trade..............................................................................
Wholesale trade ...........................................................................................
Retail trade ..................................................................................................

689
294
395

100.0
100.0
100.0

62.9
54.0
69.5

22.9
29.1
18.3

14.2
16.9
12.2

Finance, insurance, and real estate...............................................................
Services...........................................................................
Professional services...........................................................................
Other service industries ...............................................................................

107
540
198
342

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

55.3
51.5
38.8
58.9

27.5
31.3
40.8
25.8

17.2
17.2
20.4
15.3

141
172
33

100.0
100.0
100.0

43.9
30.1
(2
)

30.1
20.9
(2
)

26.0
49.0

Agricultural wage and salary workers............................................................
Government workers..........................................
Self-employed and unpaid family workers......................................................
Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left
a job between January 1981 and January 1986 because of plant
closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their positions or




ft

ft

ft

shifts. Includes a small number of persons who did not report industry or
class of worker.
2 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.

19

Table B-6. Displaced workers by sex, whether they received advance notice or expected layoff, reason for job loss, and
employment status in January 1986

(In thousands)
Plant or company closed
down or moved

Total who lost jobs

Total’

Employment status in
January 1986

Employment status in
January 1986

Employment status in
January 1986

Sex, and whether or not workers received advance
notice or expected layoff

All other reasons

Not in Total
the
labor
force

Employed

Employed

Unemployed

Not in
the
labor
force

454 2,322
257 1,148
213
993
197 1,173

1,504
777
655
727

486
215
210
271

332
157
128
175

282
145
122
137

212 1,538
724
126
632
103
814
86

1,064
533
462
531

337
135
133
202

137
56
36
81

145
100
96
45

242
131
111
111

440
243
193
196

149
80
77
69

195
101
91
94

Not in Total
Unem- the
ployed labor
force

Employed

Unemployed

5,130
2,812
2,415
2,318

3,432
1,939
1,645
1,493

912
459
428
453

786
413
341
372

2,809
1,664
1,421
1,145

1,929
1,162
990
766

426
245
218
182

3,321
1,749
1,504
1,571

2,353
1,288
1,109
1,065

619
280
255
339

349 1,783
182 1,025
139
872
167
758

1,289
754
647
535

1,810
1,063
910
747

1,079
651
536
428

294
180
173
114

437 1,026
231
639
202
549
387
205

640
408
343
232

TOTAL
Total, 20 years and over............................................
Received advance notice or expected layoff.........
Remained at job until it ended..............................
Did not receive advance notice or expect layoff ....
Men
Total, 20 years and o ver............................................
Received advance notice or expected layoff .........
Remained at job until it ended..............................
Did not receive advance notice or expect layoff ....
Women
Total, 20 years and over............................................
Received advance notice or expected layoff .........
Remained at job until it ended..............................
Did not receive advance notice or expect layoff ....

Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or
left a job between January 1981 and January 1986 because of plant




783
424
361
360

closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their positions or
shifts.

20

Table B-7. Displaced workers by reason for job loss, whether or not they received unemployment insurance benefits, age,
and employment status in January 1986

(In thousands)
Plant or company closed down or
moved

Total who lost jobs
Age and employment status in January
1986

Received benefits

Received benefits

Received benefits
Total’

All other reasons

For 27
weeks or
more

Total

For 27
weeks or
more

For 27
weeks or
more

Total

Total

5,130
4,908
1,641
1,326
983
958

3,365
3,241
1,078
903
643
616

1,077
1,060
317
305
205
233

2,809
2,682
821
670
571
621

1,762
1,700
496
427
359
418

560
555
141
141
110
163

2,322
2,226
820
657
412
337

1,603
1,541
582
476
284
199

516
505
176
164
95
70

3,432
3,279
1,245
983
637
414

2,182
2,096
788
651
394
264

693
682
232
227
124
99

1,929
1,838
663
506
390
279

1,149
1,105
384
307
231
183

362
358
108
108
72
71

1,504
1,440
582
477
247
134

1,033
991
404
344
163
81

331
324
124
119
52
28

912
861
253
251
211
146

673
642
184
186
162
110

184
178
46
51
48
33

426
399
101
116
104
78

323
307
69
89
84
64

91
89
20
22
27
21

486
461
151
135
107
68

349
335
115
96
79
45

93
89
27
29
21
12

786
769
144
92
135
398

510
503
106
67
87
243

200
200
38
27
33
101

454
445
57
48
77
264

290
289
43
31
44
171

108
108
13
11
12
71

332
324
87
44
58
134

221
214
63
36
42
73

92
92
25
16
22
30

Total

Total

TOTAL
Total, 20 years and o ver............................
25 years and over....................................
25 to 34 years.......................................
35 to 44 years.......................................
45 to 54 years.......................................
55 years and over.................................
Employed
Total, 20 years and o ver...........................
25 years and over....................................
25 to 34 years.......................................
35 to 44 years.......................................
45 to 54 years.......................................
55 years and over.................................
Unemployed
Total, 20 years and o ver...........................
25 years and over....................................
25 to 34 years.......................................
35 to 44 years.......................................
45 to 54 years.......................................
55 years and over.................................
Not In the labor force
Total, 20 years and o ver...........................
25 years and over....................................
25 to 34 years.......................................
35 to 44 years.......................................
45 to 54 years.......................................
55 years and over.................................

Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left
a job between January 1981 and January 1986 because of plant
closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their positions or




shifts. Includes a small number of persons who did not report whether
or not they received benefits

21

Table B-8. Displaced workers by full- or part-time status on lost job, sex, group health insurance coverage on lost job, and
employment status and coverage in January 1986

(Numbers in thousands)
Covered by group health insurance on lost
job
Full- or part-time status, sex, and employment status in January 1986

Total’
Total

Not covered under any plan
in January 1986
Number

Not covered
on lost job

Percent

TOTAL
5,130

3,977

1,274

32.0

1,082

Total, 20 years and o v e r............................................................................................
Employed...............................................................................................................
Unemployed...........................................................................................................
Not in the labor fo rce ............................................................................................

4,857
3,281
888
688

3,897
2,671
676
551

1,242
592
398
251

31.9
22.2
58.9
45.6

894
566
197
131

Men, 20 years and o v e r..........................................................................................
Employed...............................................................................................................
Unemployed...........................................................................................................
Not in the labor fo rce ............................................................................................

3,259
2,321
611
327

2,690
1,922
479
289

800
385
288
126

29.7
20.0
60.2
43.7

523
365
122
35

Women, 20 years and o ve r.....................................................................................
Employed...............................................................................................................
Unemployed...........................................................................................................
Not in the labor fo rce ............................................................................................

1,598
960
276
362

1,208
749
197
262

442
207
110
125

36.6
27.7
55.7
47.8

371
201
75
95

270

76

32

41.8

189

Total, 20 years and o v e r............................................................................................
Full time on lost job

Part time on lost job
Total, 20 years and o v e r............................................................................................
' Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left
a job between January 1981 and January 1986 because of plant closings
or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their positions or shifts.




Includes a small number of persons who did not report full- or part-time
status or health insurance coverage.

22

Table B-9. Displaced workers by weeks without work after job loss and other selected characteristics

(Numbers in thousands)
Weeks without work after job loss

Characteristic

Total1

Less than
5 weeks

5 to 14
weeks

15 to 26
weeks

27 to 52
weeks

More than
52 weeks

Median
weeks
without
work after
job loss

TOTAL
Total, 20 years and o v e r....................................................................
M en..................................................................................................
W omen..............................................................................................
White .................................................................................................
Black..................................................................................................
Hispanic origin..................................................................................

5,130
3,321
1,810
4,452
581
315

1,584
1,123
460
1,436
120
81

883
608
276
778
84
67

791
485
305
682
96
57

893
543
350
747
130
63

979
561
418
809
151
48

18.3
15.2
24.9
16.7
30.0
18.3

4,857
3,281
888
688
3,259
1,598
4,199
565
306

1,502
1,185
183
135
1,105
397
1,361
115
80

845
603
188
55
601
244
740
83
64

762
520
185
57
473
289
654
96
54

840
568
148
125
533
307
703
123
61

908
406
184
317
547
360
740
149
47

18.1
12.5
20.7
53.6
15.1
24.8
16.6
28.8
18.0

270
60
210

79
19
61

39
7
32

27
11
16

53
10
43

72
14
58

24.8
0
25.6

Full time on lost Job
Total, 20 years and o v e r....................................................................
Employed in January 1986...............................................................
Unemployed in January 1986 .........................................................
Not in the labor force in January 1986 ...........................................
M en............................................................... ...................................
Women.............................................................................................
W h ite ................................................................................................
Black.................................................................................................
Hispanic origin..................................................................................
Part time on lost job
Total, 20 years and o v e r....................................................................
M en...................................................................................................
Women..............................................................................................

1
Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left
a job between January 1981 and January 1986 because of plant
closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their positions or
shifts. Includes a small number of persons who did not report full- or
part-time status or weeks without work.




23

2 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.
NOTE: Detail for race and Hispanic-origin groups will not sum to
totals because data for the “ other races” group are not presented and
Hispanics are included in both the white and black population groups.

Table B-10. Median weekly earnings of displaced workers on lost job and on both the old and new job for those reemployed
in January 1986 by industry and class of worker
(N u m b e rs in th o u s a n d s )

Workers who lost jobs in 1981-85 but were
employed in January 1986

Industry and class of worker

Total'

Median
weekly
earnings on
lost job

Total

Median
weekly
earnings on
lost job

Median
weekly
earnings on
job held in
January
1986*

Total, 20 years and o ve r...............................................................................

5,130

$322

3,432

$343

$304

Nonagricultural private wage and salary workers ............................................

4,772

327

3,205

347

306

M ining...............................................................................................................
Construction......................................................................................................

175
316

485
359

118
236

488
424

365
406

Manufacturing...................................................................................................
Durable goods ...............................................................................................
Lumber and wood products.......................................................................
Furniture and fixtures..................................................................................
Stone, clay, and glass products................................................................
Primary metal industries.............................................................................
Fabricated metal products .........................................................................
Machinery except electrical .......................................................................
Electrical machinery, equipment, and supplies.........................................
Transportation equipment ..........................................................................
Automobiles..............................................................................................
Other transportation equipment...............................................................
Professional and photographic equipment................................................
Other durable goods industries..................................................................

2,550
1,691
104
63
87
235
187
361
255
260
148
112
73
66

330
359
294
0
346
413
349
400
328
402
396
432
ft
(3)

1,681
1,128
70
42
56
146
120
260
140
193
104
90
56
46

353
387

296
314

ft
ft

ft

Nondurable goods..........................................................................................
Food and kindred products........................................................................
Textile mill products....................................................................................
Apparel and other finished textile products..............................................
Paper and allied products ..........................................................................
Printing and publishing................................................................................
Chemical and allied products ....................................................................
Rubber and miscellaneous plastics products...........................................
Other nondurable goods industries............................................................

859
178
123
171
39
94
98
67
88

276
310
246
209

Transportation and public utilities...................................................................
Transportation..................................................................................... ..........
Communication and other public utilities.....................................................

ft
428
337
413
372
412
401
464

ft
ft
311
286
348
292
348
399
341

ft
ft

ft
ft

299
345
258
213

321
329
ft
320

553
102
88
89
30
65
74
50
55

ft
ft
ft
ft

263
243
222
211
ft
ft
ft
ft
ft

386
303
83

434
431
448

258
200
58

428
426
ft

395
400
ft

Wholesale and retail trade...............................................................................
Wholesale trade ............................................................................................
Retail trade ....................................................................................................

689
294
395

256
313
212

457
219
238

279
318
242

293
321
262

Finance, insurance, and real estate...............................................................
Services.............................................................................................................
Professional services.....................................................................................
Other service industries ................................................................................

107
540
198
342

303
274
273
275

78
369
132
237

412
293
298
291

365
280
293
275

Agricultural wage and salary workers...............................................................
Government workers..........................................................................................
Self-employed and unpaid family workers.........................................................

141
172
33

224
284

93
109
19

239
299

237
296

' Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left
a job between January 1981 and January 1986 because of plant
closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their positions or
shifts. Includes a small number of persons who did not report industry or

ft

ft

0

ft

2 Median weekly earnings on job held in January 1986 are based only
on wage and salary workers (excluding incorporated self-employed) and
therefore are not directly comparable to median earnings on lost job
which are based on earnings from all classes of work.
3 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.

class of worker.




ft

24

Table B-11. Reemployed workers by industry of lost job and Industry of job held in January 1986
Percent distribution by industry in January 1986

Industry of lost job

Total’
(in thousands)

Manufacturing
Total

Con­
struc­
tion
Total

Non­
Durable
durable
goods
goods

Transpor­
tation and
public
utilities

Whole­
sale
Services
and
retail
trade

Other2

Total, 20 years and o v e r..........................

3,432

100.0

10.3

28.7

18.2

10.5

8.6

18.3

23.1

11.0

Construction...................................................
Manufacturing................................................
Durable g oods.............................................
Nondurable goods.......................................
Transportation and public utilities.................
Wholesale and retail tra d e ............................
Services..........................................................
Other2 .............................................................

264
1,710
1,135
575
278
464
391
325

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

44.0
7.7
7.7
7.7
7.1
7.0
7.0
8.2

5.3
47.0
48.3
44.4
11.6
11.9
13.4
8.1

2.8
30.7
40.7
11.0
8.9
5.9
5.2
6.0

2.6
16.3
7.6
33.4
2.7
6.1
8.2
2.1

12.0
4.0
4.5
3.0
45.8
6.7
3.7
6.8

10.2
15.8
15.2
16.9
12.6
39.8
16.9
13.8

20.4
17.6
16.1
20.5
14.7
24.0
49.7
28.3

8.1
7.9
8.1
7.5
8.2
10.5
9.3
34.8

’ Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or
left a job between January 1981 and January 1986 because of plant
closings or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their positions or




shifts.
2 Includes mining; finance, insurance, and real
administration; and farming, forestry, and fisheries.

25

estate;

public

Table B-12. Displaced workers by selected manufacturing industry of lost job, sex, tenure when job ended, and median
weeks without work after job loss
Percent distribution by tenure
Industry of lost job and sex

Total1
(in thousands)

Total

3 to 4
years

5 to 9
years

10 to
14
years

15 to
19
years

Median
Median
weeks
years
20
on lost without work
years
after job loss
job
or more

Total, 20 years and over, all industries................................

5,130

100.0

32.8

34.2

15.7

7.8

9.5

6.6

18.3

Machinery except electrical:
Total, 20 years and o v e r.................................................
Men, 20 years and o ve r................................................
Women, 20 years and o v e r..........................................

364
295
69

100.0
100.0
100.0

26.3
24.7

O

33.1
31.5
(*>

17.4
18.2
<
*>

14.9
17.2
<
*>

8.4
8.4
<*)

7.9
8.5
(2
)

23.0
18.8
(*>

Primary metal industries:
Total. 20 years and o v e r.................................................
Men, 20 years and o ve r................................................
Women, 20 years and o v e r..........................................

237
202
35

100.0
100.0
100.0

22.5
17.3
(2)

34.4
35.9
(*)

12.4
12.4
(2)

11.9
13.9

ft

18.8
20.5
(*)

8.6
9.1
(*)

39.8
43.0
(2
)

Automobiles:
Total, 20 years and o v e r.................................................
Men, 20 years and o ve r................................................
Women, 20 years and o v e r..........................................

152
112
40

100 0
100 0
100.0

20.2
19.1
(*)

34.6
30.6
0

19.4
19.9
(*)

11.3
12.3

14.4
18.0

O

O

8.6
10.0
(2
)

24.5
24.1
(*>

Apparel and other finished textile products:
Total, 20 years and o v e r.................................................
Men, 20 years and o ve r................................................
Women, 20 years and o v e r..........................................

171
26
146

100.0
100.0
100.0

26.8

23.5
(2
)
23.0

25.0
O
23.4

9.6
(*)
9.7

15.1

9.8

22.4

0

17.8

O

10.2

24.5

Textile mill products:
Total, 20 years and o v e r.................................................
Men, 20 years and o ver................................................
Women, 20 years and o v e r..........................................

123
55
68

100.0
100.0
100.0

24.1
<*)
l2
)

21.2
<*)
(2
)

3.9
(*)
(2
)

17.4
(*)
(*)

7.2
(*)
(*)

25.8
<
*>
(*)

1 Data refer to persons with tenure of 3 years or more who lost or left
a job between January 1981 and January 1986 because of plant closings




O

26.0

33.3

O
0

0

or moves, slack work, or the abolishment of their positions or shifts,
2 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.

* U .S . Gov er nme nt Printing Office

26

: 190 7 - 181 -S 19/74335

Region I
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Region IV
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Federal Building
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Dallas, TX 75202
Phone: (214) 767-6971

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Lab-441

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