CASINO

Casino closures trigger Atlantic City workers’ exodus

TAGs: Atlantic City, Carl Icahn, Leonard Postrado, New Jersey

The exodus of workers in Atlantic City remains unabated as New Jersey’s gambling hub sheds more casino jobs.

Casino closures trigger Atlantic City workers’ exodusAccording to the Press of Atlantic City, the workers’ flight out of Atlantic City will remain a trend especially with the impending closure of the Trump Taj Mahal – the fifth such closing in three years.

It cited the latest Stockton University’s South Jersey Economic Review which showed that the total employment in the country has slightly declined to 350 jobs for the first half of 2016. Since the first quarter of 2014, employment in the casino hotel industry has dipped by about 5,400 jobs, or 20 percent total in the city’s metropolitan area.

The bi-annual report noted that these decline was triggered by the closure of Atlantic Club, Revel, Showboat and Trump Plaza in 2014.

Data from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development showed that the Atlantic County posted an official unemployment rate of 7.1 percent – the state’s second highest.

“Atlantic City’s economy continues to struggle under the weight of the ongoing restructuring taking place in its gaming industry and the related spillover effects on the local economy, including Atlantic City’s fiscal health,” according to the Summer 2016 edition of the SJER, edited by Oliver Cooke, a Stockton economics professor.  “While most current gaming operators have benefited (in market share terms) from the industry’s recent consolidation, the report finds that the restructuring process remains incomplete.”

The author pointed out that they have not yet taken into account the Taj Mahal layoff in their study.

The Taj Mahal is set to close Oct. 10 after owner Carl Icahn lost patience (and reportedly $100m) with the venue’s striking unionized workers. Members of Unite-HERE’s Local 54 walked off the job during the July 4 holiday weekend to protest Icahn scrapping their healthcare and retirement benefits when he assumed ownership of the bankrupt property in 2014.

Meanwhile, the 105 workers at the property’s Hard Rock Café just learned they will lose their jobs by Oct. 5, five days before the Taj’s 2,845 staff hit the bricks.

The report also came out before residents vote on whether or not to expand casino gaming beyond Atlantic City and into the northern New Jersey.

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