An Unexpected Company Is Now Laying Off Hundreds in Wisconsin

An unexpected company is now laying off hundreds in Wisconsin due to a significant decrease in consumer demand.

Mercury Marine, a boat parts manufacturer in Fond du Lac County, is preparing to cut a total of 300 positions this summer, according to a spokesperson.

The company said in a statement the layoffs at its global headquarters in Fond du Lac will run through July, and are part of operations “adjustments” in Wisconsin, Florida and Mexico.

“These actions were taken due to softening of consumer demand in some of our markets mainly as a result of continued high interest rates and near-term reductions in boat production by Mercury’s boat builder partners,” the company said.

Mercury Marine did not provide details on which positions were affected, and a layoff notice was not available on the state Department of Workforce Development webpage as of Friday Morning.

The company’s operations in Fond du Lac include manufacturing facilities and corporate offices.

In April, WGBA-TV reported more than 100 people had already been laid off at Mercury Marine this year.

Mercury Marine said it will still have more than 3,500 full-time employees in Fond du Lac following this round of workforce reductions.

In the first quarter of 2024, Mercury Marine’s parent company, Brunswick Corp., reported consolidated net sales were down $378 million from the same period of last year.

Earlier this year, Racine County boat manufacturer BRP Inc. laid off 298 workers at its plant in the village of Sturtevant.

That company reported its revenues were down more than 16% in the first quarter.

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

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Market News Today - An Unexpected Company Is Now Laying Off Hundreds in Wisconsin.
Market News Today – An Unexpected Company Is Now Laying Off Hundreds in Wisconsin.

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 Layoff in Virginia

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Market News Today - An Unexpected Company Is Now Laying Off Hundreds in Wisconsin.
Market News Today – An Unexpected Company Is Now Laying Off Hundreds in Wisconsin.

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