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molex

Manufacturing company Molex Inc. has confirmed layoffs of employees in Lincoln

Molex has cut an unknown number of workers at its plant in northwest Lincoln, which at last count had about 1,000 employees.

Susan Armitage, a spokeswoman for the electronics components manufacturer, confirmed that there were layoffs but declined to provide any other details.

"As a leading supplier to the dynamic global electronics marketplace we must continually evaluate market demand and adjust our operations to align our resources with that changing demand. Having a market-competitive cost structure is critical for building a sustainable business," Armitage said in an emailed statement. "Decisions like this are never easy and we are committed to working with affected employees through the transition, including outplacement assistance and severance pay."

Molex appears to have been hit hard by the trade war between the U.S. and China.

The company makes electronic components for automobiles, appliances, airplanes, personal electronics and other products. Many of the materials it uses are imported, and a large portion of its sales are to overseas companies.

Crain's Chicago Business reported last week that the company relies on sales to China for as much as one-third of its revenue.

In an essay posted on its website in October 2018, Koch Industries, which bought Molex in 2013, hinted at how much of an effect tariffs could have on the company.

"Molex must now pay significant additional tariffs on U.S. imports from China, as well as any products it exports to China from the U.S.," the essay said. "Those costs must be passed on to the consumers who buy new smart phones, vehicles, appliances or rely on advanced medical equipment."

According to Crain's, Molex has laid off employees across the country.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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