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Miss. Mass layoffs up from year ago

he number of Mississippi employers engaging in mass layoffs — or jobs cuts of 50 or more — has increased sharply from a year ago, though the pace slowed a bit in January.

The federal Labor Department recorded 25 such events last month. That compares with six in January 2008. There were 34 mass layoffs in Mississippi in November and 27 in December.

Nationwide, there were 2,227 in January, up almost 50 percent from the same month last year. More than 235,000 workers were fired in last month’s cuts.

The count includes firings reported by laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits. Since November, mass layoffs in Mississippi have resulted in just under 7,500 new claims for jobless benefits.