Rivian, State Farm layoffs create recession worries

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 9:10 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2023 at 10:21 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - Large layoffs at Rivan Automotive and State Farm Insurance, among others, have sparked concern that the U.S. economy is heading for a recession.

Rivian announced that 6% of its workforce will be let go, but the electric vehicle maker is keeping its assembly line employees.

Also, McLean County’s largest employer State Farm cut 451 Illinois employees, but many of those workers are being offered similar positions with the India-based firm hired to perform IT services for the insurance firm.

Not far away in Springfield, Wells Fargo says it’s laying off 140 people handling mortgages.

Many are confused about why companies are laying off employees when more than 11 million jobs are said to be up for grabs in the U.S.

“This is not something to be excited about,” said Republican State Rep. Travis Weaver.

“We have the nation’s largest work-from-home job force. We need more in-person jobs in Illinois,” said Weaver.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is continuing to raise interest rates, prompting concern among economists that rate hikes will throw the economy into a recession.

“There are a lot of areas that are down,” said Bradley University’s Economics and Finance Dept. Chair Joshua Lewer.

“The labor market is holding us and propping us up. If that does start to show weakness, that could spell trouble for us,” said Lewer.

Lewer also said that if there’s a recession, we would likely know by the second half of this year.