Illinois businesses announce more than 1,200 mass layoffs in April
Cook and Lake counties had the greatest number of mass layoffs in April 2017, with most of the jobs lost coming from the service and hospitality sectors.
The Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, Act requires large employers to let their employees as well as state officials know ahead of time if a mass layoff is planned. While monthly WARN reports are not totally reflective of the entire state economy, they are useful for studying monthly employment patterns among Illinois’ large employers.
The vast majority of April’s mass layoffs were in the service and hospitality sectors. There were no mass manufacturing layoffs.
The single biggest employer to announce layoffs was Ultra Foods, a regional supermarket chain with stores in Illinois and northwest Indiana. Ultra Foods announced 752 layoffs across seven different Illinois locations in Lansing, Forest Park, Chicago Heights, Calumet Park, Crestwood, Wheaton and Joliet.
After Ultra Foods, the employer with the most layoffs was the Gurnee-based Key Lime Cove Indoor Waterpark, which let 296 workers go after Key Lime Cove’s owners sold the business to Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin. However, the losses may be recouped in the future as Great Wolf Lodge is planning to invest as much as $100 million in the Gurnee area, according to the Daily Herald.
The majority of the mass layoffs occurred in Cook County, where 801 workers received pink slips. Lake County, home of Key Lime Cove, came in a distant second with 296 mass layoffs.