The weak housing market has claimed another casualty in the state, this time a carpet and flooring maker in Laurel Hill.
Mohawk Industries notified state officials last week that it's permanently closing its plant in Laurel Hill plant, about 85 miles southwest of Raleigh, and laying off 197 workers. The layoffs are slated to begin Aug. 22, Mohawk told the N.C. Department of Commerce.
Officials at Georgia-based Mohwawk couldn't be reached for comment. Mohawk, the nation's largest flooring products manufacturer, specializes in carpets and rugs, as well as laminate, wood, stone and vinyl flooring. The company's sales fell 3.5 percent last year to $691 million.
The residential carpet industry is still reeling from the recession, according to John Baugh, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus.
While carpet shipments are anemic, raw material costs are "escalating dramatically" and forcing carpet manufacturers to increase prices, Baugh said in a recent report.