Case Study

Cornell University ILR School

Federal Publications Key Workplace Documents


Unemployment Through Layoffs: What Are the Underlying Reasons?
Linda Levine
Congressional Research Service

Levine, Linda, "Unemployment Through Layoffs: What Are the Underlying Reasons?" (2005). Federal Publications. Paper 188.

This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Key Workplace Documents at DigitalCommons@ILR. It has been accepted for inclusion in Federal Publications by an authorized administrator of DigitalCommons@ILR. For more information, please contact

Order Code RL30799

CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web

Unemployment Through Layoffs: What Are the Underlying Reasons?

Updated April 25, 2005

Linda Levine Specialist in Labor Economics Domestic Social Policy Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

Unemployment Through Layoffs: What Are the Underlying Reasons?
Unemployment can come about in a number of ways, but the form of unemployment that policymakers have shown they are most concerned about occurs when businesses displace employees. Congress has demonstrated its desire to assist workers who have involuntarily lost jobs through no fault of their own by its provision of income support under the Unemployment Insurance program and the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, training for dislocated workers under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and TAA, and notice of mass layoffs and plant closings under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). Unemployment through layoffs ebbs and flows with the business cycle, but involuntary job loss is ever-present because firms displace workers for reasons other than temporarily weak demand. Employers also conduct layoffs for reasons specific to them or their industry (e.g., import competition and seasonal...