ST. LOUIS – Health insurer Centene reported a fourth-quarter loss of $12 million. But that’s not why they plan to eliminate 3,000 workers and 1,500 open positions. The CEO said the reductions are the results of overlap in positions after Centene finalized a major merger in January.
Dr. Alicia Plemmons, an assistant professor of economics at SIUE, said we may start to see more mergers because of the pandemic. According to Plemmons, there is a ripple effect on supporting occupations anytime there are major layoffs. But because of the pandemic, we might not notice it as much this time.
“Centene has had a lot of their employees working from home for a while. Not as many people are on location so many of the places that would be affected are already being affected,” she said. “That’s transportation in the area, that’s different kinds of hospitality or restaurants that are near the buildings.”
The good news is that insurance and health care are a big part of St. Louis, so we could see these jobs move elsewhere, and there are opportunities in St. Louis beyond health care.
Jason Hall, the CEO of Greater St. Louis Inc., said sometimes a down economy inspires entrepreneurship.
As far as American Airlines goes, they told the state they may have to furlough workers in April unless the government can come up with more funding to help them get through to October.