Companies in the steel and tech industries are facing layoffs, as U.S. Steel idles one of its blast furnaces and global media company Ziff Davis acquires combination social network and software company Spiceworks.
The Detroit News reported Friday that Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel is planning to idle one of its blast furnaces in Ecorse, Michigan, resulting in temporary layoffs. The company has already temporarily laid off 50 employees, while fewer than 200 employees could be laid off by the end of September.
A U.S. Steel official noted “market conditions” for more potential layoffs.
The Trump administration has implemented tariffs of 25% on steel coming from foreign countries.
In the tech industry, Spiceworks, a professional network for information technology professionals, is set to be acquired by Ziff Davis B2B, the Austin Business Journal reported. Ziff Davis operates brands such as entertainment and video game media site IGN.com and news website Mashable.
It’s still unclear how many employees will be laid off at Spiceworks’ Austin headquarters. Spiceworks CEO Jay Hallberg said that both companies have a lot of talent and that it is a “difficult decision” to cut some jobs.
“Spiceworks and Ziff Davis B2B each bring unique competencies and talented personnel to the combined company,” Hallberg said on Spicework’s website. “But we both recognize that our businesses have some similarities and overlapping functions and skillsets that need to be addressed and integrated if we’re to build long-term, sustainable business. So we’ve made the decision to combine/reduce some roles at both organizations. Neither organization takes these decisions lightly and we’ve focused our efforts on being compassionate and supportive at this time.”
The two companies hope to build a “preeminent marketplace that connects buyers and sellers.”
Ziff Davis publishes in 26 languages and has local publishing operators across 115 countries, according to its website. The Ziff Davis B2B platform connects technology buyers with a wide range of hardware and software vendors.
A report in April from Chicago-based global outplacement company Challenger, Gray and Christmas noted that layoffs hit 190,410 for the first quarter, a 35.6% increase from the same period in 2018 and the worst first quarter since 2009. However, downsizing in July improved from June, with announced plans to cut 38,845 jobs down 7.5% from 41,977.
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