Eugene mill to close, lay off 84

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A Chilean company notified Oregon state officials Tuesday that it will shutter a Eugene fiberboard mill and lay off all 84 workers on May 1.

Arauco North America said the closure results from an “economic imbalance” in the U.S. market for medium density fiberboard, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. The company said it will shift Eugene production work to its other U.S. facilities.

The Eugene facility opened in 1962, according to the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. The chamber says Arauco uses local lumber mill byproducts and converts them into fiberboard for home construction.

Arauco’s layoff is the latest in cutbacks at Oregon employers this year, which include layoffs at Precision Castparts, Blount International, transportation technology company Moovel and loan serving company Mr. Cooper Group.

The layoffs took place for disparate reasons. Precision Castparts’ cuts resulted from the shutdown in production of Boeing’s 737 MAX, for example, while Moovel’s cuts reflected retrenchment in the car sharing market.

Unemployment in Oregon is at a record low of 3.7%, and the state’s economic output has been rising.

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