The state’s Department of Labor and Employment saw an uptick in pending layoffs expected by Colorado companies for the next 60 days.
But as with any Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN notice, the state won’t necessarily lose all 849 jobs that area companies warned about in the past three weeks.
The cases are so specific, they are not reflective of Colorado’s economy, said the state’s chief economist Alexandra Hall.
For example, there’s Boulder’s Kira Inc., which warned 364 workers on July 30 that their jobs are in jeopardy if a promised government contract isn’t extended by Sept. 29.
Owner and CEO Carlos Garcia says he had to file a WARN notice because a promised six-month contract extension to maintain utilities and other chores at Fort Carson is still pending. He blamed the government’s “woefully understaffed” contracting offices. But he’s not worried. He expects zero job losses.
“My employees are plumbers and electricians that do work on the (Fort Carson) base. Government contracts are not cyclical. It’s not boom or bust. They’re just boring contracts,” Garcia said. “The trash has to be taken out, the broken toilets have to be fixed. You will see these contracts be the first ones approved.”
But other warnings do mean jobs will be lost.
Curian Capital, a Denver asset manager, already said at the end of July that it was not accepting new business. Then on Aug. 4, it told the state it would close its facility at 7601 Technology Way on June 30, 2016. Over the next year, 224 employees will lose their jobs.
“Given the industrywide changes in technology, product offerings and market size, Curian has determined it cannot remain commercially positioned to provide clients high-value investment programs over the long term,” the company said in a statement.
Other companies were responding to past events that impacted business.
Diamond Materials Tech, a Colorado Springs developer of diamond wire-cutting technology for the solar market, will cut 45 jobs by Sept. 27. The company, which has cut 150 jobs since last October, is in recovery mode after a major client went bankrupt, according to the The Gazette of Colorado Springs.
Ouray Silver Mines, the successor to the company that saw the tragic deaths of two workers from carbon-monoxide poisoning in 2013, will shut down a mine near Ouray by Oct. 5. It warned 82 employees. But it also noted that this could be temporary. A reopening date is not available, the company said in its filing.
Oil field services company Baker Hughes, courted by Halliburton in a $35 billion deal under review by federal antitrust agents, recently axed more than 110 jobs at its Brighton facility, 285 Weld County Road 27.
The oil slump has rocked field services firms including Baker Hughes and Halliburton, which together have announced plans to shed upward of 13,000 people and reduce other costs.
Colorado had 38 rigs running in August, according to Baker Hughes data. This time last year, 75 rigs were running in the state.
“Throughout 2015, we have lowered spending across the business, closed or consolidated facilities and made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce,” Melanie Kania, a Baker Hughes spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement.