Employers took 1,521 mass layoff actions in January, which resulted in 182,261 workers losing their jobs, said the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Each mass layoff involved at least 50 people from a single employer – and both layoff events and initial claims increased during January, after four consecutive decreases.
Manufacturing had the most number of mass layoffs, with 62,556 people losing their jobs in 486 different actions.
During the 26-month period from December 2007 to January 2010, the total number of people laid off was 5.4 million.
The national unemployment rate was 9.7 percent during January, down from 10 percent the month before, but up 7.7 percent from a year earlier.
Most of the layoffs were in the South and the Midwest, while the East North Central and the South Atlantic had the largest decreases in initial claims.