Mass layoffs highest since 9/11, Wis. workers feeling the effects - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Mass layoffs highest since 9/11, Wis. workers feeling the effects

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MADISON (WKOW) -- New government numbers show that in September, 2,269 firms across the U.S. made big layoffs, cutting 235,861 jobs.

It's the highest number of layoffs of 50 or more people since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

And Wisconsin officials say mass layoffs are happening here. A prime example is the GM plant in Janesville, where more than 750 people were laid off this past summer. And they weren't the only ones; within the past nine months, Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development received 90 layoff notices from companies across the state, meaning 11,500 people got pink slips, about 4,100 more than all of 2007.

Ron Danowski of the Department of Workforce Development says "we're not immune to those effects of the changes in the business cycle and the national economy."

Those layoff notices don't include the 1,200 new layoffs recently announced last week at GM. Still, the Department of Workforce Development says they have a rapid response team working with employees there on job placement and job training.

On the plus side, Wisconsin's unemployment rate is still lower than the national average: In September, the state averaged 4.4% joblessness rate, compared to the national average of 6.0%.

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