Bank of America’s (NYSE: BAC) plan to lay off 35,000 workers (and perhaps many more) will likely exacerbate a worsening unemployment problem in the state of North Carolina, where the bank is headquartered.
The jobless rate in the Tar Heel state climbed above 10 percent in the July – the highest level in almost a year -- as 11,800 government workers (including many teachers) were fired or laid off in the month.
The state Employment Security Commission reported that the unemployment rate edged up from 9.9 percent in June to 10.1 percent in July.
Sheri Strickland, president of the N.C. Association of Educators, told the Charlotte Observer newspaper: "Sadly, I guess, we're really not surprised at these numbers. We said all throughout the General Assembly session, as they were looking at cuts to education, that we need our folks in the classrooms and the schools and not in the unemployment lines."
Meanwhile, Bank of America’s recent announcement of job cuts will likely make the overall employment picture even grimmer.
Although bank officials did not spell out exactly where the job cuts will come from, the company has about 15,000 employees in the Charlotte area – presumably many of these workers will lose their jobs in the coming months.
One person familiar with the bank’s Charlotte operations told the Observer: "It's a state of depression around there.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that the 3,500 job-slash figure could balloon to as high as 10,000.