Large-scale job cuts quicken across Florida
Large-scale layoffs in Florida are taking place at a far faster pace in 2009 than in the comparable Jan. 1- Feb. 19 period of 2008. According to so-called WARN notices, which require mandatory publication by the state, companies have announced large-scale layoffs in Florida totaling 4,200 jobs so far this year.
Last year at this time, 2,475 job layoffs had been announced via WARN notices. So we're up 69 percent in announced WARN-related job cuts in the first seven weeks of 2009.
Of 2009's 4,200 announced cuts so far, 705 are taking place in the Tampa Bay area. The biggest announced cuts in the area to date are the 300 jobs slated for elimination at the Belleview Biltmore Resort in Clearwater. (See aerial photo by Jim Damaske of the St. Petersburg Times.)
Last year, of the 2,475 statewide cuts by now, 589 occurred in the Tampa Bay area. Bank of America's 154 cuts at its Tampa contact center were last year's largest in the area as of Feb. 19, 2008.
WARN stands for Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Companies must report planned job cuts under WARN 60 days in advance when an employment site will be shut down involving 50 or more people, or when 500 or more workers are involved or (when less than 500) at least 33 percent of the workforce at a location is cut.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist