An Unexpected Company Now Announces Layoffs in North Carolina

An unexpected company now announces layoffs in North Carolina, affecting approximately 200 employees at a major facility.

Global drugmaker Pfizer Inc. is expected to make cuts — eliminating approximately 200 jobs or more — at a Sanford gene therapy facility after a clinical trial failed for a muscular dystrophy treatment, people familiar with the company’s plans told WRAL on Friday.

It would be the latest in a series of recent pullbacks by the company in the region, reports the outlet.

Pfizer, one of the biggest employers in Lee County, said Wednesday that a clinical trial for a Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment failed to meet its goal of significantly improving motor function among boys 4 to 7 years old.

The Sanford facility has produced gene therapy products for the neuromuscular disease and two types of hemophilia.

The failed muscular dystrophy trial prompted discussions about the cuts, which could equate to slightly more than 10% of the company’s Sanford headcount, according to people familiar with the potential cuts.

People spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the company’s plans.

It was unclear late Friday whether the layoffs would happen all at once or be phased in over time.

Pfizer recently won FDA approval for a hemophilia treatment. It was unclear whether that approval would have any impact on Sanford operations.

Steve Danehy, a Pfizer spokesman, said late Friday that the Sanford site isn’t closing and that the company remains committed to the city.

Pfizer is currently expanding certain facilities in Sanford, he said.

“However, in light of the recent disappointing results in our Ciffreo Duchene muscular dystrophy trial, we can’t rule out future changes to staffing based on the expected demands of our business,” he said in an emailed statement.

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

Other Economy News Today

Market News Today - An Unexpected Company Now Announces Layoffs in North Carolina.
Market News Today – An Unexpected Company Now Announces Layoffs in North Carolina.

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 Now Announces Layoffs in North Carolina.
Market News Today – An Unexpected Company Now Announces Layoffs in North Carolina.

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