LA Based CenturyLink Plans 1,000-Job Layoff Companywide

MONROE, LA (AP) — CenturyLink, the largest public company headquartered in Louisiana, is eliminating 1,000 jobs companywide.

         The Times’ Greg Hilburn reports the company had not released a list as of Friday of the communities or states where the layoffs will occur.

         "We don't have specific impacts by community and/or by state at this time," spokesman Annmarie Sartor said Friday in an email to the newspaper.

         CenturyLink employs about 2,700 workers in Louisiana with about 2,500 of them at the corporate headquarters in Monroe. The company has a local annual payroll exceeding $120 million.

         The company employs 44,000 globally.

         "We are currently reaching out to company officials to better understand how the recently announced plans might impact employment in Louisiana," Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Steven Grissom said in a statement.

         "At this time, the company appears to still be assessing the distribution of the reductions across the company's footprint. CenturyLink's new 300,000-square-foot Technology Center of Excellence in Monroe was completed earlier this year, and we will continue working with the company on its headquarters expansion efforts in Louisiana," he said.

         CenturyLink has committed to create 800 new jobs by next summer in Monroe or the rest of the state.

         Sartor said the company is on track on its headquarters expansion. The state committed about $20 million in incentives connected to that 2011 agreement.

         "We are on target with our hiring commitment in Monroe," he said.

         CenturyLink's layoffs come on the heels of a disappointing second quarter earnings report announced Wednesday that fell below company and analysts' expectations.

         During the second quarter, CenturyLink made $143 million, or 26 cents per share, on operating revenue of $4.4 billion. Last year, the company reported net income of $193 million, or 34 cents per share, on revenue of $4.5 billion.

         The company said the results were primarily due to continued pressure on wholesale revenues and higher employee and benefit costs.

         "While we are disappointed with the financial results for this quarter, we are positioning CenturyLink to drive stronger sales, strategic revenue growth and improved operating cash flow in the months ahead," Glen Post, CenturyLink's chief executive officer and president, said in a statement.

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