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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gehl Suspends Yankton Ops -- Bad Sign for Madison?

When employment figures are good in Yankton, there's cause for optimism in Madison. So said Jon Hunter last week of Yankton's April decline in unemployment and good news from the Yankton Gehl plant:

Just like the Madison plant, the Yankton Gehl plant had laid off employees and cut back hours dramatically. The company announced in April that about 100 employees in Yankton would return to work.

While the two plants make different products, the improved fortunes at Yankton would indicate that the company as a whole is more optimistic and less likely to retrench further [Jon Hunter, editorial, "Progress in Yankton May Mean Madison Gets Better, Too," Madison Daily Leader, 2009.05.26].

Four days later, Gehl announced it is temporarily suspending production at the Yankton plant. No word yet from our man Hunter on what that means for Madison.

Far be it from me to be a pessimist, but I would think Hunter's headline is as plausible as its contrapositive. Anyone else nervous?


  1. My daughter was laid off a month ago from her job at the Lake County Conservation District. I'm just glad my son-in-law left Gehl for a better job 6 months before they laid everyone off there. At least they're only down one job and not two.

    Don't even get me started on SD unemployment insurance.

  2. Certainly not a good sign, and I think many of us are nervous. We lost 25 jobs from JMS Precision (Gehl related they said). Stock values have rebounded somewhat so we feel a false relief, but Madison is not insulated. Yankton makes a different product, so without a renewed demand for skid steers Madison may be in for a real set back.


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