Illinois firms plans for 1,400 layoffs in December


Eleven companies have notified the state that they plan to cut more than 1,400 Illinois jobs by yearend.

Parallel Employment Group, a temporary staffing agency focused on industrial work, will shutter four locations, laying off a total of 483 employees, about 17% of its workforce.

Kirk La Due, Parallel's executive vice-president, said the closures were due to unfavorable workers compensation laws in Illinois. He said the company, which also has operations in New York and Wisconsin, earned only 35% of its sales in Illinois but incurred 87% of its workers comp costs here.

The company will close its offices in Chicago, northwest suburban Wheeling, northwest suburban Elgin and northwest suburban Crystal Lake. It will continue operating an office in west suburban Naperville.

The “vast majority” of Parallel's temporary roster will be reassigned to Andrews & Staff Force Inc., a staffing firm with multiple Chicago-area locations, Mr. La Due said.

The layoffs were reported in a monthly Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act document released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Other companies cutting jobs include:

• The Chicago Transit Authority reported to the state it might eliminate 93 jobs as a result of a leaner 2012 budget. (See related story: "CTA whacks at management costs as fare hikes loom.")

• Ameren Energy Generating Co., a St. Louis-based electric power distributor, will shed 53 jobs at its power plant in Meredosia, the Central Illinois town near the Illinois River. The plant was selected as the site of FutureGen 2.0, a project in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy's clean-coal power program that the company claimed would bring 900 jobs to the area. But Ameren said it's pulling out of the project.

• Syms Corp., the Secaucus, N.J.-based parent company of Filene's Basement LLC, will shed 107 jobs when it closes Filene's Basement stores on State Street and Michigan Avenue. The company declared bankruptcy in early November, after putting itself up for sale in May but finding no buyers.

• Tinley Park Mental Health Center in the south suburbs reported that it will close and eliminate 180 jobs, according to the state. But a budget deal last week would allow the facility to remain open through next June, according to the Department of Human Services.

• Roscor Corp., an audio and multimedia wholesaler in northwest suburban Mount Prospect, will lay off 102 employees, according to the report. Mitch Roston, the company's co-owner, said the number of eliminated jobs was closer to 85 and that the company maintains between 35 and 40 employees. He said Roscor is suffering in the poor economy and will undergo a restructuring.

• General Automation Inc., a north suburban Skokie-based manufacturer, will shed 65 jobs in a company consolidation. A company human resources employee declined to comment.

• USA 3000 Airlines, a small Newtown Square, Pa.-based carrier that operates at O'Hare International Airport and flies mainly to Mexico, warned of a possible layoff of 86 employees in the event of a company sale. A representative did not return a call for comment.

• Computer Sciences Corp., a computer programming company in west suburban Oakbrook Terrace, will eliminate 79 jobs due to poor business conditions.

• ConAgra Foods Inc. of Omaha, Neb., will shutter its Rossville plant, shedding 110 jobs.

• Premier Warehousing Ventures LLC, a general warehousing and storage company in Will County's Elwood, will lay off 77 employees.

Source: Chicago Business