HAZARD – More than 150 employees with Perry County Coal Corporation are now unemployed following the company’s latest round of job cuts this week.
Perry County Coal announced its latest workforce reduction of 156 employees on Friday, which amounts to 29 percent of the total workforce in the company’s Hazard location. The layoffs were made to match expected coal sales for 2013, according to a company statement, which noted “depressed market conditions” as a reason for the reductions.
“These reductions were due to the weakening in the coal market, caused by low natural gas prices and the poor economy,” the company said in its statement. “This was a difficult decision, and we hope these reductions are temporary. If the market recovers, we hope to reinstate these employees in the future. Perry County Coal’s three underground mines will continue to operate with reduced staffing.”
Friday’s announcement compounds an already alarming employment situation for some. Here in Perry County, where several coal jobs had already been cut, unemployment has hovered near 13 percent for several months.