The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

December 1, 2013

Deductible avoided | MetLife's local office to lose only 1 job

JOHNSTOWN — Shoppers are out in full swing this weekend, but the region got a bit of an early Christmas present last week when The Tribune-Democrat’s David Hurst revealed that a number of local jobs will not be heading south.

Hurst reported that MetLife will only be transferring one job from its Richland Township office to North Carolina. That’s a much better scenario than we feared when the New York-based company announced in March that it would be moving 2,600 jobs from offices in five states, including Pennsylvania, to North Carolina. At the time, a company spokesman said that the local office would be affected.

It was, but we’re glad that the impact was minimal. While we hate to see even one job leave our area, we know it could have been much worse for the Schoolhouse Road office, which employs 340.

Even better is word that MetLife does not have any more job shifts planned for 2014.

“That’s definitely positive news,” Richland Township Supervisor Wayne Langerholc Jr. said.

The decision to keep jobs here made financial sense for MetLife, Langerholc said, given that our region has a low cost of living. One of the main benefits to shifting the jobs to North Carolina was that the cost of living in those areas where offices are expanding are cheaper to live in than the markets losing jobs.

“I think this speaks to the quality of life in this area – the recreation, education opportunities and low taxes we have here,” Langerholc told Hurst.

Those factors are the ones most often cited by businesses as our area’s best qualities. It’s nice to see those attributes paying some very real dividends for the region.

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