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St. Louis Will Help Macy's Unemployed

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St. Louis St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said Thursday that Macy's Inc.'s decision to lay off 850 employees here would not slow the city's progress in reviving its downtown economy.

"It all has to be put into context," Slay said during a news conference. With a base of 90,000 jobs downtown, the city won't be crying "woe is me," he said.

Instead, officials hope to help the laid-off employees find new jobs downtown or in the surrounding region, Slay said. The city has made similar efforts in the past when employers have shuttered.

The retailer announced Wednesday it was making the job cuts as part of nationwide plan to consolidate operations. It plans to trim about 2,300 jobs from the firm's current work force of about 188,000.

Like other retailers, Macy's has struggled with disappointing sales. But it has also faced resistance from shoppers in some markets where the Macy's name replaced local favorites it absorbed when it bought May Department Stores Co. in 2005.

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