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Tennessee layoffs rising at dawn of 2009
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Tennessee layoffs rising at dawn of 2009 | economy, layoffs, unemployment, Lifetime KIA, Mark Nadler, employment, workforce, plant closings, Internet, e-commerce, autos, retailing

Article originally published Jan. 1, 2009, 0830. Accompanying chart updated Jan. 29, 2009, 3:45 p.m. Body of article unchanged.-Ed.
 

Just as Tennessee was putting the lid on 2008 job-loss statistics, the region's largest KIA auto dealer closed shop.

There's little solace in the fact that the dozens of jobs eliminated by Tuesday's closing of Lifetime KIA in Morristown probably won't be included in the 2008 record for the state, but will instead inaugurate the 2009 layoff season.

Nearly 18,000 Tennessee workers were affected by plant closings and mass layoffs declared here in 2008, in about 260 employer actions. It's the worst scene since the 2001-02 period (see chart, below) when more than 50,000 workers were affected in that two-year period associated with the Dot.com bust and other contractions.

Yesterday, the State's dislocated worker rapid response unit in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development learned that the KIA dealership owned by Mark Nadler had abruptly closed its doors, Dec. 30.

Although the official KIA workforce toll was reported to the state as 37, news reports in East Tennessee indicate that at least 50 jobs were affected, and that the workforce had not long ago number about 100. Nadler reportedly cited restrictive bank lending and consumer retrenchment as reasons for closings.

Internet chat rooms were alight with mostly caustic postings from Lifetime KIA customers, many worrying whether or not their title and tags payments for recent purchases had been made by the dealer, and concerned they'd need to drive farther to the area's other KIA dealers for service.

One Lifetime KIA employee asked not to be identified when reached yesterday by VNC. He said he'd been running Lifetime's Internet marketing, a growing strategy for dealers, and was selling 20 or more cars a month, but cutbacks at the dealership in sales and service had made continued Internet marketing meaningless.

The 31-year-old marketer said he's been in car sales for years. Asked if he loves cars, he responded, "Not anymore."

The company's report arrived state offices Dec. 31 and a state data analyst said the numbers will be included in the January 2009 report.  Data report compiled by VNC follows below.  [Related data at The VN Blog.]


 

PLANT CLOSINGS AND WORKFORCE LAYOFFS IN TENNESSEE             

Black numbers are Federal Mass Layoff Stats. Red numbers based on State of Tennessee Data.  VNC believes differences between Federal and State numbers are mainly due to the fact Fed numbers reflect only closings or layoffs lasting more than 30 days each. Any errors of interpretation are VNC's.

(1) Federal Statistics for Period
(2) TN Data: Number of events (closings and layoffs)
(3) TN Data: Total workers affected for period
* denotes Data derived from State of Tennessee through Dec. 29, 2008.

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
                           
1999 21 16 9 -(2) 16 13 18 6 -(2) 4 8 17 131 (1)
108 (2)
13,724 (3)
2000 28 4 5 11 7 20 12 5 6 8 15 23 144
117
14,057
2001 26 12 15 16 9 28 12 15 11 16 16 27 203
295
25,913
2002 27 14 19 8 20 17 17 8 13 5 20 19 187
202
26,010
2003 24 12 15 12 18 22 18 15 5 4 8 15 168
180
13,169
2004 25 19 14 11 16 16 16 10 9 9 14 15 174
190
16,807
2005 33 4 10 14 19 15 11 10 7 7 11 25 166
164
13,704
2006 19 6 10 9 14 26 11 8 7 14 10 26 160
193
12,487
2007 22 6 9 16 13 23 12 9 -(2) 11 16 16 155
184
14,584
2008 13 13 9 8 24 19 18 17 12 22 36 50 
39*
4,169*
241 
260*
17,820*
 
Note: Link to Federal data THIS CHART UPDATED JAN. 29, 2009, 3:45 PM) - Ed.

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Tags: autos, e-commerce, economy, employment, Internet, layoffs, Lifetime KIA, Mark Nadler, plant closings, retailing, unemployment, workforce


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