Publishers Circulation Fulfillment Inc., a newspaper delivery company, plans to lay off 97 workers at its Rockleigh, N.J., site -- about 40 percent of its workforce there -- in the first half of 2010.
The company said the layoffs are the result of a decision by The New York Times Co., one of its clients, to shift customer service and other functions to another vendor.
Diane McNulty, a spokeswoman for the Times, confirmed that the contract is being shifted "as we continue to evaluate all of our opportunities to manage costs and to operate more efficiently."
The company, the nation's largest newspaper distributor, said the layoffs will begin Jan. 15 and end around May 7. Workers, who are not unionized, will receive up to 13 weeks of severance.
The layoff notice to the workers in Rockleigh clouds the optimism that the rounds of job cuts might be easing. New Jersey's jobless rate declined to 9.7 percent in October from 9.8 percent, staying below the national average of 10 percent.
The state will report the November unemployment rate next week.
After the layoff, the company will have about 150 workers in Rockleigh, according to spokesman James Cunningham. Publishers Circulation Fulfillment has had a location in Rockleigh for about a decade, Cunningham said. The office was previously in Hackensack.
The company is based in Towson, Md., and it has sites in North Billerica, Mass., and Pensacola, Fla., as well as in Rockleigh. Its clients include USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, The Star-Ledger and the Daily News.