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      Cliffs announces summer shutdown for 2013

      The Cliffs Empire Mine is hit again with a temporary shutdown and hundreds of Empire Mine employees will face layoffs next summer.

      Cliffs Natural Resources announced Monday they're planning for a 2013 summer shutdown that could potentially layoff 500 employees, temporarily.

      "I think it's important to keep in mind that what we're announcing today is, although difficult, we want want to convey that it is temporary. This is planned to be a temporary, extended shutdown during the summer months," said Cliffs Natural Resources District Manager for Public Affairs, Jennifer Huetter.

      They say the decision was made because of reduced demand for iron ore. The mine also says layoffs will be determined by seniority.

      Cliffs say that this shutdown is very similar to the one that happened this past summer. In the 2012 shutdown, Cliffs originally said that they would lay off about 600 jobs, but when it was all said and done, only about 250 jobs were affected.

      Northern Michigan University economics professor, Tawni Ferrarini, weighed in on the layoffs.

      "When something happens to a major client for any company in the Upper Peninsula, business owners and managers have to respond by reducing, changing production and employment. And we can hope for the best; that the layoff isn't as severe as anticipated, and if we get something better, then it's a win-win situation," said Ferrarini.

      There's no set date for the 2013 shutdown nor any word on how long it will last.