• Job market could benefit Electrolux workers in Memphis, expert says

    By: Kirstin Garriss


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Hundreds of Electrolux employees have less than two years to find new jobs before the Memphis plant closes in 2020.

    “Changing jobs is always difficult but in terms of finding another job now it’s probably the best time for this to happen,” said Jeff Wallace, who works at the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Memphis.

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    As Electrolux workers start to look for new jobs, Wallace said the labor market is in a better place today than it was two years ago.

    “Right now, we're at a point in time when there are more jobs open than there are people available to take those jobs,” he said.

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    According to state data, there are currently more than 19,000 job openings in the Memphis Metropolitan area and only 14,000 job candidates. 

    The labor union said most Electrolux employees have specialized skills to work on the assembly line.

    Wallace said some of those employees may need additional training.

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    “There may be some transitional difficulties but at the same time, one of the great things for these folks is they do have a good work record, they have history of employment, so they have experience already,” said Wallace.

    Wallace said these Electrolux employees also have timing on their side.

    He said companies are only required to give 60-day notice before a massive closure, and in this case, employees have through 2020 before the plant closes. 

    But he said he wouldn't wait too long.

    “I would not wait until the end. I would go ahead and start looking now and start planning for the transition,” he said.

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