Delta lay-offs to greatly impact Tri-State economy

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19)  - Many communities are still in shock after learning this week that early 1,000 workers at Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport will soon lose their jobs.

Starting May 1, Delta Air Lines is moving operations to Concourse B. That means Delta is going to lay off 840 ground workers from the carrier's Regional Elite Airline System. Some workers will be rehired or shifted to other positions. However, another 120 concession workers at CVG could also lose their jobs.

This isn't the first big economic hit for the region, and sadly some economists say it won't be the last.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the last two years, the Tri-State lost 50,000 jobs. Some locals may think 1,000 more jobs may not seem like much, but the real problem is what economists call the ripple effect.

"I don't think this is doomsday," said George Vredeveld, Director of the Economics Center for Education and Research at the University of Cincinnati. "But boy, I hate to see the airport cut back on its services. This hurts our economic development efforts and it's going to have a broad impact on our community."

And in this weak economy, Vredeveld said a single job lost becomes infectious and spreads through neighborhoods and businesses.

"The problem is when you've lost one job it's not the end," Vredeveld said. "What happens is this family that's affected by job loss, after some time of course they're going to be reducing their spending."

Even impacting tax revenues. It's a vicious circle that could hinder the Queen City's future.

Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Steve Stevens said the key to rebuilding the region's economy lies in the strength of CVG.

"Air service is absolutely critical to future economic development to this area," said Stevens. "{An airport} is a definite piece of the equation that companies look at."

CVG and Delta Air lines both said they are actively looking for new carriers to move into Concourse A. Vredeveld and Stevens both believe that'll greatly help rebuild CVG and the region's economy.

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