Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Nashville-area businesses to cut more than 300 jobs
Borders, Sears, others plan layoffs By Getahn Ward • THE TENNESSEAN • March 9, 2010 Add some 300 other workers to the ranks of the unemployed in the Nashville area in addition to cuts planned by Ford Motor Credit in Middle Tennessee this month. Cuts planned by Borders books, outsourcing firm Celestica, defense contractor Lockheed Martin and a handful of other firms — just reported to state labor officials — come as some signs of a more stable job market emerge nationally. "Even as we see positive job growth … we're going to find many businesses continue to cut back on payroll," said Matt Murray, an economist at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. "It's still possible that unemployment rates go up, but I do think that the worst is behind us." Jobless rate is steady Nationwide, unemployment held steady at 9.7 percent last month, while the state's unemployment rate remained a percentage point higher at 10.7 percent for January, the latest data reported. Generally, there's a lag between a rebound in the economy and when employers add workers to payrolls. Under the federal WARN Act, employers with more than 100 people on the payroll must give the state notice of substantial layoffs. Borders, cheese producer Schreiber Foods Inc., and collections services firm Axiant LLC will cut a total of 184 employees in the area, state officials said Monday. Meanwhile, Celestica, Lockheed Martin, Sears and Highland Youth Center gave notice of planned closures affecting 132 people. Sears plans to close its store in Columbia, Tenn., for instance. Borders said it would move a returns operation from La Vergne to a distribution center in Carlisle, Pa., by mid-April — a move that should eliminate 120 jobs. By the end of next month, Celestica plans to close its fulfillment services operation and cut 43 jobs in Mt. Juliet. Lockheed Martin, meanwhile, last month closed a flight services operation that offered pre-flight services to noncommercial pilots as part of a consolidation. That affected 28 local employees.
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