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Entergy layoffs may not affect area

NATCHEZ —Entergy Mississippi is cutting 80 jobs across the state, but it is unclear if any layoffs will affect local workers.

Entergy Mississippi Spokeswoman Mara Hartmann said Entergy Corp. is planning to cut 800 jobs, 80 of which will be in Mississippi.

The layoffs have started and should be completed by the end of the year, but Hartmann said Entergy will not know if any Natchez jobs will be cut until early November.

Hartmann said 40 jobs will be cut in Jackson, and the remaining 40 will be spread across Entergy Mississippi’s 45-county service area.

The layoffs will affect mostly support services and “office-type” jobs, Hartmann said. No lineman, journeyman, field engineer or engineering associate jobs will be cut, Hartmann said.

“Those people that are out working to get your power back on, there will be no reduction there,” she said.

Hartmann said it is important for Entergy customers to know that the company works to bring them safe, reliable energy and remains committed to that.

The job cuts come after Entergy spun off its transmission business to ITC Holdings based in Novi, Mich., which Hartmann said “left our company looking significantly different.”

“We had to take a whole look at the company, how we might better organize to meet a lot of the changing needs of the company, customers and different things affecting utility companies in general,” Hartmann said.

The layoffs were not a direct result of spinning off the transmission business, Hartmann said, but the move gave the company a chance to assess its needs.

The layoffs will include eliminating some jobs, consolidating others and completely changing some, Hartmann said.

The bulk of Entergy’s layoffs will be in Louisiana, with 240 planned layoffs, including approximately 160 in the New Orleans area. That’s about 6 percent of Entergy’s metro-area jobs and 5 percent statewide. Louisiana layoffs make up 30 percent of the total.

Arkansas would lose about 165 jobs, Texas 115 and New York 110. Most states would lose 4 percent to 6 percent of their Entergy workers; Texas would lose about 10 percent, and Massachusetts, Michigan and Vermont about 30 each.