570 laid off at JP Morgan Chase's Florence office

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – JP Morgan Chase says it will host a job fair to help the 570 people being laid off in Florence to find new jobs.

Employees will be able to continue working at the office for 90 days, said Chase Home Loans spokesperson Amy Bonitatibus. The layoffs announced Thursday cut that office's workforce in half, additional to the 300 layoffs announced in January.

JP Morgan was one of Florence County's top 20 employers in 2012, according to a document from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

Bonitatibus said Thursday's layoffs were made for the same reason as those announced in January: "Fewer home owners are falling behind on home loans, so JP Morgan Chase needs fewer employees to assist those who are struggling. We will work with affected employees to find openings at Chase or other local companies."

Florence County Economic Development Interim Chairman Buddy Brand said he was unhappy to hear about the layoffs Thursday.

"I was very disappointed to see JP Morgan decide to do what they did. 570 people out of work is a huge number for our community," Brand said.

But, Brand said he thinks people who lost their job Thursday or back in January will be able to bounce back soon.

"We have got a plethora of industry that we're looking to move in this area because companies like Honda and those existing companies like GE you've got QVC. There's lots of potential that's going to be coming into our community in the next few years I think," Brand said.

Bonitatibus said JP Morgan Chase has held several job fairs for the employees who were affected by the January layoffs. Bonitatibus said she believes some employees are in serious discussions with local employers, if they haven't already accepted a job.

Bonitatibus said the company has about two dozen job fairs and workshops planned in the weeks ahead.

There were other layoff announcements Thursday for employees in similar roles around the country.

Bonitatibus said no more layoffs are expected to be made at the Florence location for the remainder of 2013.

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