DUNCAN — Duncan’s Halliburton plant let more employees go throughout the day Tuesday, bringing the number to an estimated 1,000 employees who have been laid off over the last year-and-a-half.

Chris Deal, president and CEO for Duncan’s Chamber of Commerce, said that number isn’t concrete, but instead estimated by adding layoff numbers and comparing them to the employment and unemployment rates in the area.

According to Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Documents, the most recent unemployment rate in Stephens County reported was 8.3 percent, the highest rate in the state of Oklahoma.

“Before all of this started, they were around 2,900, and if you look at the other layoff rounds and you add them out, I think we’re probably somewhere around 1,900,” Deal said. “It’s based on, ‘OK, we got confirmed,’ and then you look at the employment and unemployment numbers in the workforce and that’s where I come up with the number 1,900.”

Chris Moore, center manager for Duncan’s local office of Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, confirmed workers who had been displaced from Halliburton were in and out of his office throughout the day Tuesday.

“We’ve been getting them all morning,” Moore said. “I don’t have a number exactly from Halliburton but what we are hearing is about 300. Manufacturing, mostly. I’ve only been in one room helping people who’ve filtered through.”

Halliburton Director of Public Relations Emily Mir confirmed the layoffs in Duncan, but did not specify numbers of employees pink slipped.

“Halliburton has made reductions to its manufacturing employee workforce in Duncan due to the continued decline in market conditions,” Mir said. “Making this decision was not easy, nor was it taken lightly, but unfortunately it was necessary as we work to align our operations to reduced customer activity. We are committed to treating separated employees with dignity and respect.”

The last round of Halliburton layoffs reportedly came in February of this year.

Moore said Halliburton isn’t the only one shedding employees. According to Moore, Wilco Machine & Fab Inc. furloughed employees recently.

“We had a little Wilco one, but it wasn’t even a blip. They had a furlough so they’ve still got jobs, they’re just not working right now.”

Charlene Belew writes for The Duncan Banner.

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