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Impact Of OKC Chesapeake Layoffs Sinking In

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The full impact of those layoffs at Chesapeake is now starting to sink in. 

According to economic experts, those job losses will be felt city wide both in unemployment data and spending. But that pain may be better than the alternative.

The 640 layoffs at Chesapeake Tuesday are the biggest the city has seen in years. But for those who were watching closely to the happenings at 63rd and Western, it was no surprise.

"It's not unexpected to me at all," said Steve Agee the Dean of the Meinder's School of Business at Oklahoma City University. "In fact, in terms of management it's probably overdue."

Agee says from a strategic perspective, company executives did what they needed to do to keep the company strong. He says Chesapeake had more employees than most companies its size. According to the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, that is also a benefit of the city.

"Them not being in a position of a move or sale or a takeover is really critical to the future of the economy," Cynthia Reid the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.

10/8/2013 Related Story: 640 OKC Chesapeake Employees Let Go Tuesday

The Chesapeake job loss does rank up there as one of the biggest layoffs in the past 10 years. In 2006, General Motors laid off 1,600 people; Dayton Tire 1,600; and AOL 900.  But Chesapeake is not leaving.

"It's a completely different impact on the economy than if we were losing an employer because we still have strong company with thousands of employee," said Reid.

That's little consolation, however, to those who are now looking for work. But experts say they will likely find new jobs soon. In fact by Wednesday, the linked-in page for American Energy Partners, the new start up from former Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon, had a list of new openings.

"We're probably going to see over the next year, year and a half, these employees are going to be absorbed by other energy companies," said Agee.

"We have a strong, vibrant energy sector, and there are many other companies that may be able to offer employment to former Chesapeake employees," Gov. Mary Fallin said. 

Fallin also said she would encourage those who were laid off to submit their resumes to, an online tool for employers and employees looking to match skill sets with job openings across the state.

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