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One of America's Oldest Companies Just Laid Off 600 Workers as it Shifts Focus to Production in Mexico Over 600 John Deere employees in Iowa and Illinois were laid off effective August 30.

By Emily Rella Edited by Melissa Malamut

Key Takeaways

  • John Deere told 600 factory workers in Iowa and Illinois their employment is ending August 30.
  • The news comes just weeks after the company announced that it is moving production of certain equipment to a factory in Mexico by late 2026.
  • The company saw a 12% decrease in worldwide net sales and revenue during its last earnings report.

It's the end of an American era at John Deere, one of the country's oldest companies.

The outdoors company, established in 1837, announced mass layoffs over the weekend ahead of moving some of the company's production to Mexico. John Deere makes heavy machinery for the agricultural, forestry, and construction industries.

The company alerted over 610 production staffers that, by the end of the summer, their roles in Illinois and Iowa no longer exist. The layoffs will be effective on August 30.

Related: John Deere Hiring CTO 'Chief Tractor Officer,' TikTok Creator

"We can confirm Deere leadership recently communicated that rising operational costs and declining market demand requires enterprise-wide changes in how work gets done to achieve our goals and best position the company for the future," the company said in a statement.

The news comes just weeks after the company announced that it is moving skid steer loaders and compact track loaders manufacturing locations from Dubuque, Iowa, to Mexico to curb manufacturing costs. The move is planned to be completed by 2026.

The new layoffs are one of many for the company, which laid off roughly 200 employees at its Waterloo, Iowa, plant in May and another 300 at the same location in April.

Affected workers from this most recent round of layoffs will be able to collect Supplemental Unemployment which will cover roughly 95% of their weekly net pay for up to 26 weeks depending on how many years of service the employees have given the company.

John Deere had a lower-than-expected Q2 2024, which it blamed on a lower demand for farming equipment as farmers grapple with declining prices of crops.

The company brought in $2.37 billion in net income during the quarter, down from $2.86 billion in the same period last year. Worldwide net sales and revenue also decreased 12% quarterly.

Related: Plowing ahead: John Deere's crop of success in turbulent markets

In 2023 the company made more than $10 billion in profit.

"John Deere's second-quarter results were noteworthy in light of continued changes across the global agricultural sector," John C. May, John Deere chairman and CEO said in a company release at the time.

John Deere was down just under 10% year over year as of Monday morning.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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