Hundreds of layoffs hitting Shelby County early 2020

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Hundreds of people are facing layoffs early next year.

This month alone, state records show three different companies, Flex Ltd. Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc. and Leidos are all cutting jobs which will cause a total of 547 layoffs.

"When we have layoffs, what we can expect is an increase in poverty. We have [almost] 550 families who are not at risk of falling into poverty," said Dr. Elena Delavaga from the University of Memphis School of Social Work.

Some layoffs will begin December 31st and continue through next February.

Since these layoffs are happening so close to the holiday season, Dr. Delavaga said these cuts will have a ripple effect throughout Memphis.

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"[Families] thinking about their economic future and it doesn't look very bright. They are not going to be spending any money on Christmas so the businesses that depend on having important sales during the Christmas season will also be affected," said Dr. Delavaga.

FOX13 reached out to all three companies about their respective layoffs. Flex Ltd. declined to comment, and we didn't get a response from Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.

A spokesperson sent FOX13 the following statement about the layoffs: "Leidos has provided information technology support services to provide automated personnel records storage and management for both active duty and reserve personnel in support of the Navy Personnel Command.

The contract is scheduled to end on December 31, 2019. As a result, Leidos provided 107 employees in Millington, TN, with notices under the WARN act. We anticipate that all employees will be picked up by the successor contractor. There are no other Leidos facilities or Leidos contract work in the surrounding areas of Millington, TN."

But for other hundreds of people, Delavaga said finding a new job may not be easy.

"If we have that number of layoffs that means we have fewer jobs to go around, fewer jobs and more people looking for jobs makes it really hard," she said.

Some of these companies also received state grants to be in Shelby County.

The state Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc. almost $12 million in grants.

Flex Ltd. was also awarded two grants – a $750,000 FastTrack Job Training grant and $1.5 million economic development grant.

At this time, the state has not distributed any funding for these grants to Flex.