A Massive Food Plant is Now Cutting Hundreds of Jobs

A massive food plant is now cutting hundreds of jobs in California, nearly 200 positions, ahead of a sale to a major producer.

Approximately 180 workers will be laid off from a Cargill meat processing plant in Fresno, California, ahead of its sale to the state’s largest beef producer.

Layoff notices were issued to 178 workers between June 5 – 7, according to detailed WARN filings.

The notices are part of a decision to sell the processing plant to Central Valley Meat, who had committed to retaining as many of the 880 plant workers as possible, reports Manufacturing Dive.

“While more than 700 employees will join Central Valley Meats upon its purchase of Cargill’s Fresno plant, a WARN notice has been issued for 178 employees who will not be retained by Central Valley Meats,” a Cargill spokesperson confirmed in an email to Agriculture Dive Monday.

Affected workers will continue to receive pay and benefits for 60 days, the spokesperson said, and will be eligible for severance packages and job search, application and interview assistance.

“We are sad to see the people impacts and are committed to providing support and resources,” the spokesperson added.

Currently, the Fresno plant produces an average 1,600 cattle per day and about 1.4 million pounds of trim, boxed and case-ready beef daily, according to Cargill’s website.

Cargill plans to retain its ground beef and hamburger operations in the area.

Layoffs are set to take effect Aug. 4, according to the WARN filings.

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Also Read: Retirees Will Now Receive More Money For Social Security

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Market News Today - A Massive Food Plant is Now Cutting Hundreds of Jobs.
Market News Today – A Massive Food Plant is Now Cutting Hundreds of Jobs.

Applications for unemployment benefits now surge to new highs, a sign that the white-hot labor market is starting to cool off.

First-time applications for unemployment benefits rose last week to 231,000, the highest level since August, per CNN.

Thursday’s data also showed that the number of continuing claims, or applications from people who have filed for unemployment for at least one week, was 1.78 million.

That’s an increase of 17,000 from the prior week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The latest numbers come less than a week after the monthly jobs report showed the US economy added just 175,000 positions in April, less than economists expected and a steep drop-off from prior months.

US employers have now added an average of 245,500 jobs per month, versus 2023’s 251,000-per-month average.

Still, hiring remains strong. Although the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.9% last month, it’s the 27th consecutive month that the jobless rate has held under 4%, matching a streak last seen in the late 1960s.

Weekly jobless claims data tends to be volatile but, while one week’s worth of data “does not a trend make,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at Fwdbonds.

“We can no longer be sure that calm seas lie ahead for the US economy if today’s weekly jobless claims are any indication.”

Company layoffs are picking up, hinting at caution on the part of companies as they weigh the outlook for the second half of the year,” he wrote in a note Thursday.

The Federal Reserve has been battling inflation by raising its key lending rate in the hopes of slowing the economy.

While the labor market has so far resisted those efforts, remaining white hot for the past 18 months despite 11 rate hikes from the central bank, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said last week that demand has “cooled from its extremely high level of a couple of years ago.”

Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Economics said in a note Thursday: “We’d need to see at least a month of elevated readings to convince us that the trend really has turned.”

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Also Read: A Giant Company Now Announces Unexpected Layoffs in Virginia

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Market News Today - A Massive Food Plant is Now Cutting Hundreds of Jobs.
Market News Today – A Massive Food Plant is Now Cutting Hundreds of Jobs.

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