Volvo Trucks expects to lay off some workers at its Dublin plant by the end of the year, winding down from a period of abnormally high productivity at the region’s largest employer.
Company spokesman John Mies wrote in an email that the company forecasters — and industry observers — expect demand for trucks to slow down in 2020.
The layoffs are meant to align the workforce with those trends.
“It’s too soon to say how many, or exactly when, just that it will be before the end of the year,” Mies said of the job cuts.
However, Gov. Ralph Northam is set to appear at Volvo on Friday to make a major economic development announcement, according to his public schedule. The schedule offered no other details.
The news comes after a record-setting hot streak for the trucking industry.
In the 12 months leading up to October 2018, 503,500 class 8 trucks — which includes tractor-trailers — were ordered in North America, according to industry analyst group ACT Research. That shattered the previous record of 376,000 in 2006.
Employment at Volvo’s Dublin plant, meanwhile, surged from 1,700 workers in January 2017, to 2,600 in 2018 and 3,500 today.
Volvo’s run of good fortune aligned with broader trends across the national economy, as unemployment has dropped to its lowest point in years.
Pulaski County’s unemployment rate was 2.8% in April, the lowest for that month since at least 1990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data.