Oregon’s big lay-offs of 2015

By Oregon Small Business Association,

Oregon shed 5,300 jobs in September and its 12-month job growth of nearly 50,000 jobs is substantially lower than the previous 12 months. In fact, 2015 has witnessed significant developments among some of Oregon largest employers, with major companies being bought out, moving operations to other locations, or laying off workers. The glut and downsizing of large employers raises concerns as Oregon’s employment numbers continue to slow.
Capital One lays off 900. The financial service company has announced plans to close its call center in Tigard by the end of the year, resulting in 900 layoffs. Employees do have the opportunity to apply for work within the company. Capital One is Tigard’s largest employer.
Haggens closes 20 stores. Earlier this year, the grocery chain aggressively began converting 146 Albertsons and Safeway stores. The strategy has been costly and largely a failure. Of the 20 Oregon stores converted, 14 have closed or are about to be closed. Most recently, Haggens announced that 130 workers in Klamath Falls will lose their jobs.
Woodgrain Millwork 200 layoffs. Roughly 200 workers at the Prineville mill lost their jobs earlier this year, a blow to the local wood products industry in Central Oregon.
Commercial Vehicle Group, Inc. loses 117. The Albany-based auto manufacture laid off 117 workers—37 more than originally announced at the beginning of the year.
Intel. Based in Hillsboro and one of Oregon’s largest and important employers, Intel is laying off 2.3% of its workforce, totaling 1,155 lost jobs. It’s not clear how many Oregon jobs will be impacted.
Erickson loses 150. The Portland company, which makes helicopters, laid off 150 workers—or 15% of its total workforce—earlier this year as part of a reorganization.

Symantec loses 175. The largest technology employer in Lane County, the software security company eliminated 175 local jobs. These jobs have been relocated to Minnesota, Florida and India.

Mentor Graphics. Based in Wilsonville, the technology company announced plans to lay off 4% of its worldwide workforce. Roughly 60 jobs were lost in Oregon.

Oregon companies acquired by non-Oregon business this year include:
• Rentrak. The Portland-based media measurement company is in the process of becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Virginia-based comScore.
• NexPlanar. Originally based in Hillsboro, the semi-conductor company is being bought out by Illinois-based Cabot Electronics Corp. for $142 million.
• Precision Castparts. The manufacture of metal components for the aerospace and other industries is in the process of being acquired by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
There are others, as well, representing as much as 35% of the total assets of Oregon’s publicly-traded companies. Well-known private companies like Dave’s Killer Bread, Elemental Technologies, and Knowledge Universe have also been acquired by out-of-state companies.
Though such transactions may not decrease local jobs, the state’s tax revenue does take a hit. Additionally, long-term economic ties to local communities are more tenuous.

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