Schneider Electric announces new round of layoffs

CLOVIS, Calif.

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Some say the layoffs just show how shaky the economy still is. And even though the unemployment rate in Clovis is the lowest in the county layoffs still have an impact.

The 50-job cut was announced around 11:30 AM Wednesday. Employees at various Pelco by Schneider Electric offices around the world were laid off. The company would not say how many people lost their jobs at its headquarters in Clovis.

"Businesses are still tightening their belts, there's a lot of uncertainty," said Fran Blackney, a business advocate with the Clovis Chamber of Commerce.

Blackney added that word of more layoffs is not surprising. But she said it adds to the cycle of a sluggish economy.

"It's the chicken and the egg thing, you want to hire more people but you have to have the market for it," Blackney said. "But, the people in the market can't spend their money if they don't have jobs. So I don't know what the kicker is to break that cycle."

City Councilman Nathan Magsig said he knows the answer -- expansion of small or local businesses.

Clovis is dominated by small business and its unemployment rate is the best in the county.

Right now Clovis sits at 8.6 percent unemployment, that's well under the county's 15.8 percent. And Clovis' rate is still lower than the state's average of about 12 percent.

"We're working hard to create jobs," Magsig said. "Earlier in the year we passed some measures impacting businesses who want to construct new facilities here in the city, discounting fees that they're going to be offering up."

One local business Magsig said the discounts are helping is Clovis Community Medical Center. The hospital, he told Action News, is continuing its expansion with the promise of more jobs.

But even with that promise, layoffs at Pelco by Schneider Electric can't be ignored.

Lower unemployment here in Clovis may be good news for those lost their job at Schneider Electric. The company said it is offering career counseling and outplacement to those laid off.

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