Study: Job loss likely to continue

Published 9:21 am Saturday, May 9, 2009

ISLE OF WIGHT—Nearly 800 additional jobs could be lost as a result of the 909 jobs that have already been cut in Isle of Wight County, according to an economic impact study by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

VDEP analyzed data provided by Isle of Wight’s department of economic development based on the number of jobs cut by four major employers in the area: ATC Panels (143), Franklin Equipment Company (70), International Paper (208) and Smithfield Foods (488).

“(The study) assumes the changes are instantaneous,” said Brian Kroll, senior economist at VEDP. The analysis considered how personal expenditures of the 909 workers affect other jobs in the local economy and the tax revenues that are provided by a company and its workers, but not any additional burdens on local government services.

“(The study estimates) that Isle of Wight County could lose $12.3 million dollars in tax revenue,” Kroll said to the board of supervisors at their meeting on Thursday. Approximately $3.4 million would result from losses in local property and sales taxes.

The board unanimously voted to share the results of the study with the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance and other localities.

The leading sectors that could be affected by job losses include automotive repair and maintenance, restaurants, retail trade, food processing and medical services.