Iconic clothes firm slashes 100-plus Bay Space jobs

Levi Strauss sign at the company’s San Francisco headquarters.

Levi Strauss & Co. has revealed plans to chop well over 100 jobs in San Francisco, the latest in an ominous wave of layoffs that could reinforce views that a “doom loop” now grips the Bay Area’s second-largest city.

The iconic clothing manufacturer, whose storied history stretches back more than a century to the California Gold Rush era, disclosed its decision for the layoffs in an official notice sent to the state’s labor agency.

San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. has decided to cut 143 jobs at its headquarters complex in San Francisco, the WARN filing with the state Employment Development Department shows.

“Levi Strauss & Co. is undertaking a reorganization that is resulting in a reduction in its workforce at its headquarters facility,” David Cardiff, an associate general counsel with Levi Strauss, wrote in the company’s WARN notice to the EDD and local government officials.

The layoffs by the clothing manufacturer, perhaps best known for its Levi’s jeans, represent one of the the latest economic jolts for San Francisco’s reeling economy.

Among the numerous economic woes to batter San Francisco:

— Macy’s will shut its historic store in fabled Union Square.

— San Francisco Centre has flopped into foreclosure, lost Nordstrom and a slew of other retailers, and is being rebranded as Emporium Centre San Francisco — even though Emporium exited as an occupant a number of years ago.

— Multiple hotels in San Francisco are struggling. At least one hotel was seized through foreclosure and sold to a new owner.

— A growing number of stores and restaurants have decided to shut their doors and depart San Francisco.

As tangible evidence of the widening economic calamities in San Francisco, while the San Francisco-San Mateo metro region got off to a strong start in job creation over the first six months of 2023, the final half of last year told a more ominous tale.

During the first six months of 2023, the San Francisco and San Mateo County region added 21,000 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted figures released by the state EDD.

But over the final six months of 2023, the San Francisco-San Mateo metro area lost 5,400 jobs, an indication that employment growth slowed drastically in that region as the year advanced.

In contrast, during the final six months of 2023 from July through December, the Bay Area added 7,400 jobs, the South Bay gained 3,200 jobs and the East Bay added 3,800 positions, the EDD figures show.

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