Longview gets hit hard by area layoffsLongview gets hit hard by area layoffshttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=125622016-03-22T05:00:00Z2016-03-22T19:25:00Z

LONGVIEW AREA - Two Longview-area industrial manufacturers have announced layoffs as the slumping oil industry continues to take a toll on the local economy.

TrinityRail, which manufactures tank cars, will lay off almost half of its Longview-area workforce beginning May 15, with about 850 people expected to lose their jobs in a move caused at least in part by the faltering oil industry. 

Trinity has four locations in West Longview and another facility east of Longview on US 80. ​

"The reduction is primarily driven by current market conditions and the need to align production among existing facilities," said Jack Todd, vice president of public affairs for Trinity Industries, which is the parent company of TrinityRail. "Several individuals at this facility will have an opportunity to be redeployed to another Trinity location. All affected employees have been given 60 days' notice. Approximately 800 workers will remain working at the Longview facilities."

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released an analysis showing rail shipments of crude have dropped from a peak of 928,000 barrels per day in October 2014 to an average of 139,000 barrels per day in 2015. ​

The Longview Economic Development Corp.'s website shows that as of February, TrinityRail employed 1,774 people at all of its local plants, making the company the largest industrial employer in Longview.

The workforce reduction will make Trinity the second-largest industrial employer behind Eastman Chemical Co., based on Eastman's February employment numbers.

Additionally, U.S. Steel Corp. is laying off 450 employees at its Lone Star Tubular Operations north of Longview and idling the sprawling Morris County plant. 

In an emailed statement, the company blamed weak conditions in the energy market for the decision to cut jobs and shutter the plant, which produces pipe and tubing used in shale gas and oil drilling.​

The company had notified the Lone Star workers in January that operations could be idled on or after March 13.

The most recent round of cuts continues a trend begun a year ago, when U.S. Steel laid off 436 employees at Lone Star. In January 2015, the plant had 1,100 people on its payroll.​

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