Atlantic City casino work force drops to lowest level since late 1980s

Atlantic City – Once thought immune to recession, Atlantic City’s casino industry lost more than 2,000 jobs last year as employment fell to its lowest level in two decades.
Casinos finished 2008 with 38,585 workers, the first time since 1987 that annual employment sank below 40,000, according to year-end figures released Tuesday by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. Employment peaked at 51,560 jobs in July 1997.

Overall, the 11 casinos cut 2,125 jobs in 2008 through layoffs, attrition and seasonal adjustments in the work force. December saw a loss of 552 jobs, representing the fifth straight month that employment shrank.

The work force has been chopped in response to declining revenue caused by the faltering economy and fierce competition from Pennsylvania’s slot parlors. Atlantic City is mired in the worst slump in its 30-year history of casino gambling.