Nationwide cutting jobs

January 17, 2008 9:13:26 AM PST
Nationwide Insurance says it will cut or move 1,000 jobs, including 200 layoffs in its hometown here.Nationwide wants to reduce costs and stay in position for long-term growth in the face of a weakening economy and tough competition, said spokesman Joe Case. The Columbus job cuts will begin next month.

"We're making some strategic adjustments to maintain our momentum," he said Thursday. "We are a growing company, and we're making sure we're efficient and effective."

Most of the affected jobs are in the property and casualty division, which makes up two-thirds of the company and includes auto, homeowners and commercial insurance.

Case said Nationwide has nearly 36,000 employees total. Among other offices with cuts are Harrisburg, Pa., where some 190 jobs are being phased out; Portland, Ore., where consolidation of some operations will affect 240 people; and Raleigh, N.C., where changes will affect 100 positions, he said.

Other affected jobs are scattered around the country with some cuts coming through attrition, he said.

Nationwide will offer severance packages and outplacement help for some affected employees, while others will have the option to apply for other jobs within the company, Case said.

Donald Light, a senior analyst with Celent, a financial consulting firm, said there have been expectations that the insurance market would grow softer and profits would fall. Nationwide is likely trying to get ahead of that trend, he said.


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