April 2024

Tracking Real Time Layoffs with SEC Filings: A Preliminary Investigation

Leland D. Crane, Emily Green, Molly Harnish, Will McClennan, Paul E. Soto, Betsy Vrankovich, and Jacob Williams


We explore a new source of data on layoffs: timely 8-K filings with the Securities and and Exchange Commission. We develop measures of both the number of reported layoff events and the number of affected workers. These series are highly correlated with the business cycle and other layoff indicators. Linking firm-level reported layoff events with WARN notices suggests that 8-K filings are sometimes available before WARN notices, and preliminary regression results suggest our layoff series are useful for forecasting. We also document the industry composition of the data and specific areas where the industry shares diverge.

Keywords: Alternative Data, Forecasting, Labor Markets, Large Language Models, Layoffs, Natural Language Processing

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2024.020

PDF: Full Paper

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Last Update: April 11, 2024