Western States Equipment Co., a Caterpillar dealer based in Meridian, Idaho, said last week that it will lay off an undisclosed number of employees, affecting workers in all of the company’s locations. The company has branches, including Cat Rental Stores, in Twin Falls, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Lewiston and Hayden, Idaho; Missoula and Kalispell, Mont.; Spokane and Pasco, Wash.; La Grande and Pendleton, Ore.; and Jackson, Wyo.
“There is no doubt that challenging times are ahead in many of our markets,” Western States president Tom Harris said in a news release. “Unfortunately, I do not see this as a short-term interruption of business as usual. In making our decision to reduce the work force, we tried to look forward to see what is potentially in store for Western States and others in construction industries. We see challenges in credit markets and an oversupply of both residential and commercial development.
“The deleveraging of our economy and consumption of excess real estate will take quite some time to correct. Economic experts are predicting a recovery for businesses like ours that may not start until sometime in 2010, an eternity to those of us that depend on the construction industry for our livelihood.”