The chance of being fired from a private-sector employer is more than three times as high than being fired from a government job, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The BLS defines a layoff as “a separation of an employee from an establishment that is initiated by the employer; an involuntary separation; a period of forced unemployment.”
The BLS provides two metrics to explain layoffs and discharges: by either counting the number of layoffs and discharges, or calculating the layoff and discharge rate, which is simply the number of terminations as a percentage of the total number of employees.
As of May 2014, the latest date available for the BLS data, the layoff and discharge rate in the private sector was seasonally adjusted at 1.3 percent. This is more than three times as high as the layoff and discharge rate in the government of 0.4 percent, seasonally adjusted.