Mass layoffs hit some areas worse than others in 2009. When Alex Hill and 40 of his colleagues were corralled into a conference room at Dell's Austin, Texas, headquarters last November, he was a little nervous. "I started cracking jokes that gas was going to start coming down in James Bond fashion or something," he said.
Close. Everyone in the room was fired, their jobs shipped overseas. While Hill understands the business reasons behind what happened, the 38-year-old Web designer still feels betrayed. "It kind of felt like I’d made a deal with my company that if I did a good job they wouldn’t fire me," he said.
In Pictures: America's Pink-Slip Capitals
The slowing economy has made such large-scale layoffs common. According to a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3,489 mass layoffs in the first quarter of the year, eliminating 559,000 jobs. These big payroll cuts accounted for more than a fourth of the 2.1 million jobs lost during the period. Some areas of America are feeling the pain of mass firings more than others.