Timothy Scott, head of corporate relations at Intel Costa Rica.
Timothy Scott, head of corporate relations at Intel Costa Rica.

QCOSTARICA – A total of  4.680 people were laid off this year, resulting from the leaving of Costa Rica by a number of multinationals, citing high costs of production the country, mainly electrical rates and fuel prices.

Some of these companies include Yanber, Mabe, Cartex, Intel and Bank of America. The latter three laying off a total of 4.150 people.

The exodus began the day following the run off presidential elections. On April 7, Intel announced the layoff 1.500 with the closing of its microprocessor and integrated circuits manufacturing plant; the next day Bank of America made it known it was also laying 1.400.

Bank of America said will be gone completely from Costa Rica by March 2015.

In the case of Intel, while the manufacturing jobs have already disappeared, it still maintains operations in Costa Rica, with some 1.200 employees and the promise to hire 350 people in the megalab project the company is developing in the country.

The cost of Intel’s closure of it manufacturing plant goes beyond just layoffs, the Intel products represented some 20% of the total sales abroad.

Last September, the textile manufacturer Cartex also announced closings and layoffs of its 1.250 employees. As in the case of Bank of America, Cartex is gone completely, shutting down operations on November 7, that included Cartex Manufacturera Cartago, Cartex Manufacturera Gretex and HBI Servicios Administrativos. At the time the company said the decision to close was made stateside, from its head office in North Carolina.

“The decision to close was strictly due to business needs and not in any way reflect the skills, dedication and commitment of employees, nor their performance,” said Mauricio Brenes, the company’s director of operations in Costa Rica.

But not all has been bad news, according to the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), some 39 multinationals have or are in the process of completing their expansion in the country.

The single largest creator of jobs is Amazon, adding 1.000 new jobs this year. followed by The Result Companies with 500, Accenture with 300 and  VMWare and Brighstar with 150 each.

Source: La Republica, with editing from the Q