What do Deere layoffs portend?


The uncertain agricultural economy, higher interest rates and pesky inflation no doubt have contributed to the continued layoffs at Deere, but the bigger question is does this portend a larger decline in the economy?

The QCBJ reported recently that more than 600 production workers at John Deere plants in East Moline, Davenport and Dubuque, Iowa, will be laid off effective Aug. 30. The Moline-based equipment maker confirmed the layoffs Friday, June 28. 

Deere indicated that the staffing level changes are being made due to reduced demand for the equipment these facilities produce.

Not surprisingly, the layoffs mirror the results of the rural economy tracked by Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.

Mr. Goss’ monthly rural economic survey for June indicated that his farm equipment sales index dropped to 31.8 from 34.0 in May. “This is the 12th time in the past 13 months that the index has fallen below growth neutral. Higher borrowing costs, tighter credit conditions and weak grain prices are having a negative impact on the purchases of farm equipment,” said Mr. Goss in a news release.

We hope that if a new federal farm bill is passed and interest rates are cut by the Federal Reserve this decline will be muted.    

Thank you, Beth Clark

Longtime media executive Beth Clark retired as associate publisher of the QCBJ on June 30.

Ms. Clark was formerly co-publisher of the Quad-City Times in the late 1990s before starting and operating QC Magazine for seven years.

She has a passion for local journalism and for helping local businesses and nonprofits succeed. She later worked as director of business development and marketing for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley.

We appreciate her help in building the QCBJ brand in the Quad Cities over the past two years and wish her the best in retirement.   

Steve “Taps” Tappa

Journalism has increasingly been challenged over the past several decades due to a myriad of factors. And fewer students are going into this noble profession, and unfortunately veteran reporters like Steve Tappa continue to pass away.

Mr. Tappa was a beloved journalist and sports supporter and enthusiast in the Quad Cities. 

He graduated from Bettendorf High School and St. Ambrose University. For many years he covered sports for The Dispatch and the Rock Island Argus. Mr. Tappa had many side jobs as stable news operations continued to cut full-time journalists. He worked at WQAD and MC22 TV, as broadcasting director for the St. Ambrose TV station from 1991-95, and KALA radio, and writing for the St. Ambrose Alumni Publications, the Illinois Press Association and other publications. 

He also has been contributing his talents to the Quad Cities Regional Business Journal since shortly after its launch on Dec. 1, 2021.

We were fortunate to have worked with “Taps,” and will miss his passion for journalism and sports.   

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