More than 2,000 Central Florida workers have been laid off this year, the highest number since the tail end of the Great Recession in 2010.
As reported by Kyle Arnold of the Orlando Sentinel, 2018 layoffs in Orange, Osceola, Lake and Seminole have hit a post-recession high despite low unemployment statewide and an otherwise strong economy.
When companies plan to layoff more than a third of their employees or more than 50 employees, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires them to notify the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
DEO lists WARN notices on its website, and the most recent notice came from Orlando-based Hotelbeds, which plans to layoff 16 employees at the end of February. Since the start of November, DEO has been warned of nearly 400 layoffs by Central Florida-based companies, including 205 at C&S Wholesale Services, the distributor for the Winn-Dixie chain of grocery stores.
The facility, run by Bellwether Behavioral Health, had been home to many violent and abusive incidents committed both by residents and staff. APD had previously stopped the facility from taking in new residents and imposed required video monitoring requirements among other sanctions and fines.
A large chunk of the jobs losses came from companies in the retail industry, many of which have struggled during what’s been colloquially referred to as the “retail apocalypse.”
Experts say the 2018 layoffs aren’t as troublesome as the mass layoffs in the late-aughts and early 2010s. Due to the low unemployment rate creating a tight labor market, laid off workers can usually find another job quickly.
Statewide, nearly 18,000 layoffs have been disclosed to DEO reported so far this year, which also goes down as a post-recession high.