Mass job layoffs decline in Ohio

Updated: Wednesday, August 15, 2012
By: Staff Writer

The number of workers impacted by mass layoffs of at least 50 employees by Ohio employers declined last year to its lowest level since 2003.

Year Total number of layoff notices (all industries) Employees affected by mass layoffs 2011 668 39,058 2010 712 49,994 2009 1,205 114,879 2008 1,027 89,057 2007 716 43,849

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

A list of area businesses with state notices for layoffs or closures in 2012.







Potential employees affected



Layoff dates




Liz Claiborne Distribution Center

West Chester






Jan. 27-Sept. 1




Appleton Papers, Inc.

West Carrollton






May 20




Diversapack of Monroe







March 5




Cub Food (Lofino’s Food Stores)


Dayton and Miamisburg




Sept. 30




Mercy St. John’s Center







June 1




SuperValu Ohio Valley Distribution Center







July 8-Sept. 30












March 6




Xanterra Parks & Resorts

College Corner






Feb. 7












April 19




Kmart Store #9660







April 1




Schneider Logistics, Inc.

West Chester






March 31











SOURCE: Ohio Department of Job & Family Services

Google Inc.’s announcement earlier this week that it planned to slash thousands of workers from its recently acquired cell phone business was eerily reminiscent of the mass layoffs that displaced scores of Ohio workers at the height of the last recession.

More than three years into the recovery, however, mass layoff announcements have become more of an anomaly than standard business practice, suggesting employers are no longer downsizing rapidly despite sluggish economic growth and unemployment of 7.2 percent in Ohio and 8.3 percent nationally.

“During the recession, there were a lot of companies whose revenues were just falling off the table, and they went through massive changes,” said John Challenger, chief executive of Chicago-based workforce consultancy, Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “A lot of that has been completed now, and you’re likely to see fewer bouts of big layoffs at big companies.”

In Ohio, where a dramatic slowdown in manufacturing during the recession led factories to shed hundreds of workers at a time, mass layoff announcements by employers fell to 668 last year from a peak of 1,205 in 2009, government statistics show. The drop in mass layoffs — which affect at least 50 workers at one company — cut the total number of worker separations by more than half over the same period to 39,058 from 114,879, based on figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The last major mass layoffs in the region in 2009 included 644 employees at NCR Corp. and 200 employees at Iams in Dayton, 299 workers at SMART Paper in Hamilton and 186 workers at Auto Truck Transport Corp. in Springfield, though those numbers were dwarf by the 2,621 workers laid off by ABX Air in Wilmington, according to Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notices filed with the state.

Nationwide, the 4,512 mass layoffs announced by private, non-farm employers in the second-quarter of this year was the lowest second-quarter total since 2007, when 3,741 mass layoffs were announced in the the three-month period that ended in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Still, workforce reductions remain a primary tool for many companies struggling to keep costs under control as the economic recovery inches along in fits and starts.

Shrinking staff to match work

U.S. employers announced 283,091 total layoffs through the first half of the year, up 15 percent from the first six months of 2011, according to Challenger’s research.

“The economy has remained weak and not very stable, and we don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring,’’ said Dave Dysinger of Dysinger Inc., a precision machine business in Dayton. “In a wildly fluctuating market like that you have no recourse but to shrink your staff to match the work that is available to you.’’

Dysinger said he is not planning any layoffs, but small to medium-sized firms such as his are often the most vulnerable to the intermittent slowdowns that have plagued business cycles since the recovery began in June 2009, Challenger said.

“The small- to medium-sized companies that do a lot of the hiring are still facing a lot of change and turnover,” he said. “They’re not looking at big layoffs, but they’re constantly turning out the people who aren’t doing as well. You see a lot of those companies take the bottom 10 percent of their performers and move them out.”

But employers are generally reluctant to cut too many workers because of the time and training it takes to replace them, especially skilled laborers who have become increasingly hard to find.

“The real problem for a company like ours is that it takes about 10 years from the beginning to develop a top-notched machinist,’’ Dysinger said. “So we end up constantly chasing people to develop. And just as we’re getting them developed, we go into another downturn in the economic cycle.”

That can force an employer to make tough choices about who stays and who goes.

“Even in a down economy, you still need that balance of skill levels to be successful,” Dysinger said. “You have to have the right people matched up to the right work.”

Employers striving to maintain that balance have contributed to the general slowdown in layoffs and a sharp decline in the number of people seeking unemployment aid as a result.

Nationwide, initial claims for unemployment benefits — the most widely tracked gauge of layoff activity — fell unexpectedly in the first week of August by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 361,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported last week.

In Ohio, initial claims for the first week in August were down were down 13 percent from from the previous week to 10,089.

While the drop in new applications offers hopeful signs that the labor market is at least beginning to stabilize, worries about pending government spending cuts and higher taxes coupled with fears about Europe’s on-going debt crisis, among other economic concerns, promise to keep unemployment elevated for the foreseeable future, said James Brock, a Miami University economics professor.

“Employers will remain reluctant to add workers until there is more clarity about where the economy is headed,” Brock said.

 Man accused of firing gun 6 times, next to woman’s head

Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2016
By: Jeff Guerini, Multi-Media Journalist/Breaking News Staff

 Man accused of firing gun 6 times, next to woman’s head
James Sammons is charged with felony assault and domestic violence. STAFF PHOTO/Jeff Guerini

A Springfield man is accused of putting a gun next to a woman’s head and firing six shots.

It happened Wednesday in the 700 block of Linden Ave. in Springfield.

The suspect, James Sammons, got in to an argument with the woman and pulled the gun out of his waistband, according to a police report.

Sammons was arrested and appeared in court Thursday on charges of felony assault and domestic violence. He’s being in held in jail on a $31,000 bond.

 Woman jailed for fracturing her dad’s jaw

Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2016
By: Jeff Guerini, Multi-Media Journalist/Breaking News Staff

 Woman jailed for fracturing her dad’s jaw
Suzanne Hines appeared in Clark County court, charged with domestic violence and felony assault. STAFF PHOTO/Jeff Guerini

A woman is jailed in Clark County for allegedly fracturing her father’s jaw after pushing him in to a wall mirror during a fight.

Suzanne Hines is facing felony assault and domestic violence charges.

Hines’ father was hospitalized with cuts to his face and the fractures.

Hines was in court today and pleaded not guilty.

She’ll need to post a $16,000 bail to get out.

Police and firefighters step in to teach so school staff can attend teacher's funeral

Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2016

            Police and firefighters step in to teach so school staff can attend teacher's funeral

A group of Arkansas police and firefighters went far beyond the call of duty, stepping in to teach classes for a day at a middle school where a teacher suddenly passed away.

The Greenwood Police Department and Fire Department officers and firefighters took over so that school employees could attend the funeral of Jennifer Nelms.

Greenwood Fire Chief Stewart Bryan said, “Ms. Nelms was a supporter of the fire and police department. She’s been a supporter of us for many years. Now that the school’s in need, we wanted to help the school out. We wanted to make sure all the teachers were available to attend the funeral.”

Nelms, a 32-year-old paraprofessional in a fifth-grade classroom at East Hills Middle School, died Saturday from complications associated with Lupus.

Nelms was not feeling well at work Friday and left early.

Karen Benjamin, who worked with Nelms, said, “She thought, ‘I’m going to go home. I’m going to sleep. I’m going to clean my house, and I’ll see you Monday morning.’ So, that’s what she said Friday when she left.”

Co-workers say Nelms was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease, about two years ago.

About 15 Greenwood officers as well as firefighters subbed for teachers so Nelms' co-workers could mourn her and celebrate her life.

Greenwood Police Chief William Dawson said, “It’s certainly an honor to be in the class that she taught in… She was a great person… obviously loved by a lot of people and students, and she will be greatly missed.”

East Hills Middle School provided lunch to all of the police officers and firefighters, as well as staff members when they returned from the funeral services.

Nelms leaves behind a husband and two sons. 

Why did Ryan Lochte lie? Experts point to stress, guilt, fear

Updated: Friday, August 19, 2016
By: Leslie Gray Streeter

Why did Ryan Lochte lie? Maybe because he - and all of us - were born this way?

“It doesn’t surprise me. People typically lie under stress. When in fear, people lie,” says Dr. Melinda Paige, who teaches clinical medical health counseling at Atlanta’s Argosy University.

Lochte, the multiple Olympic medal swimmer, had reported that he and several team members were robbed at gun point outside their cab while returning to the Olympic Village in Rio. Not only did details in Lochte’s story change with subsequent tellings, but Brazilian police officials, a gas station security tape that apparently shows the swimmers kicking down a bathroom door and fighting with a security guard, and now, reportedly, Lochte’s own friends, are contradicting his original account.

Psychology experts say that human beings have various reasons for bending the truth or even telling a straight-up whopper, but they mostly come back from having something to lose.

>> Related: Ryan Lochte apologizes for behavior in Rio

“There are lots of reasons people lie - guilt, shame, inventing a better self-image or to avoid getting in trouble,” says Dr. Rachel Needle, a licensed psychologist at West Palm Beach’s Whole Health Psychological Center. “Lying can get us out of awkward situations.”

Those awkward situations, Paige says, might trigger stress, which impacts the brain’s limbic system which “is programmed for survival.”

In Lochte’s case, survival means protecting “what really matters to him, like public perception,” Paige says. “(That part) of the brain is about alarm and safety, not about rational thought. It’s mobilized for fight or flight, and that protection is of his image, or to the United States, which he represents as an athlete.”

Paige adds that this natural stress reflex to lie, even when it’s a really dumb lie, can be seen on reality TV competitions when a contestant straight-up fibs about something that, if they were calm and able to think rationally, can be disproven because they’re being filmed 24/7. And it’s why politicians and their campaigns lie about obvious things – see the initial remarks from Donald Trump’s campaign that wife Melania’s Republican National Convention speech was absolutely not identical to an earlier one by First Lady Michelle Obama, even though it clearly was.

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Needle says it may be notable that Lochte was in a group when the alleged story was concocted, because “there’s potential (for it) to spiral into an even bigger lie. No one’s going to ever know who started the lie, but in a group it’s easier to feel more safe and comfortable in contributing to that lie with other people supporting you in that lie. It seems potentially easier to get away with.”

For celebrities, sometimes there’s the “thrill of telling a lie and getting away with it,” says Manhattan-based psychologist Jonathan Alpert, author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life In 28 Days.” Celebrities like Lochte might feel more confident that they won’t be caught and that their stories are more believable because they are in the public eye and are given the benefit of any doubt. “They might feel they are immune from being caught.”

Alpert adds that the motivation for lying might be determined by gender. Women “tend to lie more to their friends. They may say an outfit looks great on someone when it really doesn’t,” while men “lie to look better. It might come in the form of boasting. I help many clients navigate the world of dating apps where lies are plentiful. Men typically add an inch or two to their height, for instance. The lies build themselves up. It’s also a way to exert control over others, a situation, or even themselves if they feel they have no control.”

Dr. Nicki Nance, professor in the Psychology and Human Services department at Beacon College in Leesburg in central Florida, says that it’s not that celebrities and “people in the public eye are lying more than other people, but that they look more stupid because more eyes are on them when they do it. In (normal) life, we lie to our parents and spouses, but we don’t have the whole world looking at our lies.”

Nance says she wonders if the swimmers’ apparent untruth “was to provide context for an excuse, because they were going to be telling a bigger lie later… What guy do you know kicks down a door to pee? They pee wherever they are. I didn’t believe that part of it.”

Nance says another dynamic might be at work. “A lot of times, people under that kind of pressure get a little freedom and are just tired of being good. You think of your freshman year in college where you’re expected to make mistakes. But if you never had that period, you might as well do it in Brazil.”

We might never know the specific reasons Lochte and his fellow swimmers chose to tell a story that is now falling apart like so many shattered records.

“But his swimming is great,” Nance says wryly.