Top Glendale employers downsized since 2006

While several of Glendale's top employers have downsized since 2006, at least one — Glendale Adventist Medical Center — has added employees.

Since 2006, the hospital has jumped its employee base, including full-time and hourly workers, by 21% to 2,424, according to an analysis of data released this month by the city of Glendale in its comprehensive annual financial report.

Human resources officials at the hospital attribute the gain to new clinical positions who came along with the addition of new towers in 2007 and 2012. The hospital went from 452 beds to 515.

"We had been pushing to be a leader in providing world-class care so we have continued —, in the communities and in the markets we're in — to have growth," said Jodi Parrish, employment manager at Glendale Adventist.

Parrish said the hospital may continue to increase its staff, but it won't be at the rate seen in the past seven years, even as the Affordable Care Act kicks in, bringing new patients into the fold.

The law, known as Obamacare, requires all citizens to have health insurance, but the impact of those new patients will be seen more in doctor's offices than hospitals.

While Glendale Adventist has added employees during the past seven years, Glendale Memorial Medical Center has decreased its staff by about 4% to 1,196.

An official at Glendale Memorial Medical Center was not available to comment on the slight dip, said spokesman Angela Giacobbe, but in January more than 100 nurses and support staff picketed outside the hospital to oppose planned layoffs.

A California Nurses Assn. spokeswoman said at the time the hospital planned to lay off 41 nursing support staff, such as vocational nurses, nurse's aides and custodial staff, by Feb. 15. The hospital did not comment about the cuts in January.

But Glendale Memorial's slim-down was a drop in the bucket compared to other top employers in Glendale, such as the city of Glendale, the Glendale Unified School District and Nestle Co.

The city and school district decreased their ranks by 25% and roughly 32%, respectively. Both government agencies have struggled financially because of the recession as well as state funding issues, with the city slashing nearly 200 positions through early retirements, layoffs and axing open jobs in 2012 alone to fend off a massive $15.4 million deficit.

As for Nestle, it lost 635 jobs in Glendale, bringing its employee base to 1,100. Edie Burge of Nestle's Corporate & Brand Affairs, said in an email the reduction was due to the transfer of some divisions to New Jersey in 2008, the transfer of some employees to offices in Solon, Ohio, and Oakland, Calif., and outsourcing some Nestlé information technology jobs to an outside service provider.

Burge said the drop does not reflect Nestle's commitment to Glendale, adding that the company renewed its lease for its Glendale offices through 2021 in October.

Then there's Bank of America, which closed its Glendale corporate offices this year, laying off roughly 280 employees. In 2006, the company had 834 employees, but figures were not available for 2013, according to the Glendale data.

Some figures were also not available for companies that did not exist in 2006, but are now top employers, such as DreamWorks Animation. The report states that DreamWorks was the city's fourth top employer with 1,531 employees this year. According to new reports, the company had laid off more than 300 employees early this year.

As many top employers are cutting back, Glendale's unemployment rate has improved, dropping to 8.9% in August 2013, compared to 11.1% in August 2011, the height of Glendale's unemployment since the recession.

Before the recession, in December 2007, the city's unemployment rate was 4.8%, according to the city report.

Meanwhile, city officials have been actively trying to attract businesses to occupy its Class-A office space. This year, Whole Foods brought its western headquarters to the city and label-maker Avery Dennison moved its regional and national headquarters to Glendale.

As of August, Glendale had an 18% vacancy rate for Class-A office space, down from a 20.7% vacancy rate at the end of 2012.


Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.


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