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The Ripple Effect: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Cuts

5:52 PM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
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Forsyth County, N.C. - Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, one of the largest employers in the Piedmont, plans to cut 950 positions. The jobs will be slashed between now and next June. 76 people will be laid off this week.

However, these job cuts will affect far more than just medical center employees. When the hospital cuts jobs, those former employees start making cuts of their own. They stop making trips to Starbucks. They'll stay in, instead of going out to dinner and a movie. They'll also delay making big purchases like washers, dryers and cars.

Hairdressers at Lee's Salon, near the hospital, know some of their customers won't be able to come back for awhile.

"It's very traumatic if they can't come and get their hair done. They want to get their hair done if they do nothing else. If it comes between paying their rent or buying groceries or house payment or car payment, you know they're going to give up the hair," hairdresser Ruthann Reavis said.

UltraTan, the tanning salon next door to Lee's, is also expecting to lose business. They know tanning is a luxury, something customers cut out if money is tight.

"You just think the hospital letting go of 900 people is just going to affect the hospital. But, in all reality, it doesn't," UltraTan employee Sarah Hicks said.

In addition, consider all the local businesses that rely on the holiday season to keep their doors open. They're going to feel the effects, too.

North Carolina A&T Economics Chairman Dr. Jeffrey Edwards told WFMY News 2 he estimates the medical center cuts and their ripple effect will add up to about two tenths of one percent. Dr. Edwards said the overall economy of the area is about $22 billion.

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