JP Morgan Chase laying off 450, closing Florence office - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

JP Morgan Chase laying off 450, closing Florence office

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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – JP Morgan Chase announced Thursday that 450 people are being laid off, and their office in Florence is closing. This is the third round of layoffs at that office this year.

An official with JP Morgan Chase confirmed the layoffs would be mortgage servicing jobs, like the layoffs in March and January.

Mortgage servicing employees are there to help people who are having trouble paying their mortgage, said Melissa Shuffield with JP Morgan Chase. Because of the recovering economy, they are down-sizing this department as there is less of a demand for these mortgage services.

"This is a response to our customers' changing needs," Shuffield said. "Fewer homeowners are struggling with their mortgages, and many people have already refinanced – taking advantage of the stronger economy and historically low rates. We've already held three job fairs in Florence this year where many employees received offers from local employers. We'll continue to do all we can to support affected employees."

Employees will be phased out through 2014, Shuffield said, with the first group being let go in early fall. Shuffield said the company announced in February that nationwide, 13,000 to 15,000 employees would be cut by the end of 2014.

"While we're not consolidating all offices into one, we are streamlining the business to fewer mortgage sites across the nation," Shuffield said.

The Florence office employed only mortgage servicing employees, and the office will be closed once all employees have been laid off.

JP Morgan Chase will continue offering employees job fairs, resume workshops, and relocation options to work at other officers in the United States.

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.

JP Morgan laid off 570 workers back in March, and 300 in January of 2013.

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