Humana cuts hundreds of jobs; What does this mean for Louisville?


by Adrianna Hopkins

Posted on February 17, 2010 at 6:03 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 18 at 6:21 PM

750 local Humana jobs are being cut.  It's a big hit for one of the biggest employers in Louisville.  Company-wide 1400 people will be laid off.

The home-grown company announced the layoffs Wednesday morning, which will be spread over the year.  Now, we are finding out what this means for the city.

This company was founded in 1961 in Louisville by a group of lawyers.  It is a healthcare company, which also offers government products.

The company has doubled the number of employees from 4 to 5 years ago and now they're reducing that number and blaming it on the economy.

It is one of the largest companies in Louisville, employing 10,000 people.

But by the end of the year, that number will be slashed to 9,250.  And now some employees found out in 60 days they'll receive their severance package.

The company blames the economy.

"Companies are downsizing. As you know some of those companies are our health plan clients and when they lose employees we lose health plan members. And as a result of that, the general economy being responsible, we have fewer health plan members now that we did two years ago," said Tom Noland, Sr. Vice President Corporate Communications for Humana.

Tom Noland with Humana says the company didn't single out one department or sector and didn't choose high paying positions over lower ones or vice-versa.

But he says this sets the company up for the future and while its laying people off, they'll also be hiring.

"There are areas of growth and we're going to try to match up the skills of those we notified today with these new positions. Those who are unable to obtain these positions will be given a severance package with the continuation of health and other benefits."

Still people we talked to said they hate to see the jobs go and they hate it for the employees.

Charlotte Delaney said, "I know it's hard to find a job. I was laid off my own self back in August, so it’s been kind of difficult. And you're still looking. No, I have a job now, but it was rough getting there."

John David Filipe said, "They'll have to be persistent in hitting the bush.  They can't just hit it once a week, they've got to be out there every day, remember me?"

But they don't think the layoffs will have a major affect on Louisville and neither does Humana.

"Some of the new positions will be added in Louisville. So while it will be a difference it won't be a major one."

Some of those growth areas include pharmacy management and disease management and 1100 new positions will be created.

Regarding the job cuts, Tom Noland also said some positions have been vacant for a while and are just being eliminated so it doesn't mean a person is losing their job, per se.

Here's how the layoffs break-down:
Humana is cutting 2500 jobs across the company.
It operates in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Louisville is losing 750 jobs by the end of the year. Locally, Humana employs nearly 10,000 people.

At the same time, Humana announced it will be hiring 1100 new positions because of growth in areas like pharmacy management.

So the total job cut nationwide stands at 1400 Humana jobs.