Industry Research : T-Mobile Call Center Closure Accounts for Over Half of Florida Job Cuts in March
Florida employers announced 888 job cuts in March, a majority coming from the closure of a Fort Lauderdale-based T-Mobile USA call center, according to data from global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Florida’s job cuts ranked fifth in the Southeast, surpassed by North Carolina (3,717 job cuts), Georgia (1,202), Virginia (1,145) and Alabama (1,132). The figures are based on public layoff announcements, such as Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices filed with the state.
Telecommunications firms saw the highest number of planned job cuts in March, with 4,089. Nearly half of that total, 1,900, came from T-Mobile USA, which announced it would consolidate call centers in an effort to reduce costs. The company’s Fort Lauderdale call center is one on the chopping block, resulting in about 492 layoffs by June, according to a WARN notice filed by T-Mobile. These layoffs account for over half of Florida’s total job cuts in March.
In the tri-county area, the parent company of NECO Fine Foods announced in March it planned to close its Lantana facility and lay off 49 workers by June. Walgreen Co. also announced plans last month to lay off 123 workers in Miami Lakes with the closing of the central pharmacy operation portion of its facility.
Nationwide, job cuts declined in March to the lowest level since May 2011, with U.S. employers announcing 37,880 layoffs. Cuts this year have been concentrated in the consumer products and transportation sectors. Consumer products firms lead in job cuts, with 18,438 layoffs since January. Through March, the transportation sector has announced 17,051 cuts nationwide, up 569 percent from the 2,547 job cuts announced by the same time last year.
"Both consumer products and transportation saw fewer job cuts in March after experiencing heavy cuts in February," Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John A. Challenger said in a statement. "These are key indicators of the economy’s health, so they will be closely monitored in the coming months for more signs of distress. The hope is that the February surge in these sectors was not indicative of a trend."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, April 2, 2012