CBC - Almost 700 employees between the Winnipeg and Brandon Target locations will lose their jobs after the American retailer announced Thursday it would be pulling out of the Canadian market.
Target’s exodus from Canada marks one of the largest mass layoffs in Manitoba’s recent history.
A Thompson nickel smelter and refinery slashed 500 jobs in 2010. Convergys Corp., a Cincinnati-based call centre that used to have an operation in Winnipeg, laid off 500 employees in 2009 in Winnipeg.
Philippe Cyrrenne, professor of economics at the University of Winnipeg, said mass layoffs like these are rare.
"Target came in big and they left big," said Cyrrenne.
He said the impact of the layoffs on Manitoba’s economy won’t be felt immediately, because Target employees receive a 16-week severance package.
The real short-term challenge will fall on the shoulders of the hundreds of employees who will be competing for fewer, similar retail jobs.
"It will be difficult at the outset,” said Cyrrenne. “They all have similar skills so it could take a while. The best case scenario is for a larger retailer to come in."