U.S. Steel to cut nearly 700 jobs at Texas facility

21 January 2016

U.S. Steel Corp. this week announced plans to lay off nearly 700 workers at a crucial production facility in Texas.

According to a filing by the Texas Workforce Commission, the company announced as many as 679 workers will be laid off at its tubular operations facility in Lone Star, Texas.

U.S. Steel also maintains tubular operations in Alabama at Fairfield Works. The Fairfield location has been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn, and as many as 1,100 workers could be permanently out of a job.

The company said the Texas layoffs will be temporary. It is the largest private employer in Morris County, Texas, which has a total population of fewer than 13,000.

U.S. Steel said it was forced to make the Texas decision due to difficult market conditions, including "fluctuating oil prices, reduced rig counts, depressed steel prices and unfairly traded imports."

U.S. Steel announced in December it is postponing plans to build its new electric arc furnace at the Fairfield Works site. The company has also laid off thousands across its U.S. footprint, as the global steel market reels in the wake of a construction downturn and over production of steel in China and the strong U.S. dollar.

The Alabama project is expected to stall until market conditions improve, with the company citing weak demand from the oil and gas sector and low steel prices, the company said in a release. The new furnace was initially expected to come online in November 2016.

The company's shares continue to bottom out, with its per share price listed at $6.96 as of Jan. 20.