Unionized hospitality workers wait in line in a basement garage to apply for unemployment benefits … [+]
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Topline: As the coronavirus pandemic wipes out markets, closes schools and colleges, suspends major conferences, sports leagues and cultural events as well as upends the travel industry, businesses losing out on cash flow have started laying off workers.
Here’s who’s axed staff so far:
- Workers at President Trump’s hotels—160 in Washington, D.C., 51 in New York City and an unknown number at his Las Vegas, Nevada location—were laid off.
- Over 1,200 workers were laid off from OTG, which staffs restaurants and stores in New York City’s LaGuardia International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport, along with New Jersey’s Newark International Airport.
- Workers have also been laid off from Philadelphia International Airport, Orlando International Airport, and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
- Over five dozen workers were laid off Friday from West Virginia’s Oglebay Resort and Conference Center.
- Hollywood talent agency Paradigm laid off around 100 employees and reduced payroll for the remaining 500.
- Air Canada will lay off 5,100 members of its cabin crew, about half of its current roster, as its planned flights for April have been cut by nearly 80%.
- Montreal-based circus producer Cirque du Soleil will lay off 4,679 people—95% of its staff.
- The Metropolitan Opera, considered the U.S.’ largest performing arts organization, on Thursday laid off its union employees, including its chorus singers and musicians.
- The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, IATSE, estimated that 120,000 jobs for film workers, including technicians, artisans and other crew positions have been eliminated.
- Bon Appetit Management Company, a retail dining employer for college campuses, laid off 140 workers from the University of Pennsylvania.
- Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel company, said tens of thousands of hotel workers will be furloughed, and will lay off a number of those workers.
- Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group on Wednesday laid off 2,000 workers, which is 80% of its workforce.
- Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, which owns 54 hotels, laid off half of its 8,000 workers and may need to cut an additional 2,000.
- Compass Coffee, a Washington, D.C. Starbucks competitor, on Tuesday laid off 150 of its 189 employees—equaling 80 percent of its staff.
- Eatwell DC, a District of Columbia-based restaurant group, let go of 160 employees over Sunday and Monday.
- Minnesota-based cabinetmaker Wayzata Home Products had to lay off its entire 141 person staff.
- Laura Ashley, the British homewares and bedding maker, filed for administration (the U.K.’s version of bankruptcy) Tuesday, after rescue talks were impeded by the coronavirus outbreak.
- Dixons Carphone, a second British retailer that sells telecom and electrical goods and services, laid off 2,900 workers Tuesday.
- New York City bookseller McNally Jackson, which operates four locations, temporarily laid off its employees due to the outbreak, but intends to hire them back “as soon as we can,” according to the company’s Instagram account.
- Portland, Oregon-based bookseller Powell’s Books, which operates five locations, said some of its layoffs would be permanent and that it would take several months for normal operations to be restored.
- Stena Line, a European ferry operator, announced Monday that 950 jobs would be cut in Sweden due to a sharp decline in travel bookings.
- The Circuit of the Americas, an Austin, Texas-based concert, automobile racing, conference and entertainment complex, said Monday it was laying off an undisclosed number of workers after being indefinitely closed due to coronavirus.
- Scandinavian Airlines said Sunday it will temporarily lay off 10,000 employees, equal to 90% of their staff,
- MGM Resorts said Friday it would furlough workers and begin layoffs on Monday, but immediately let some staffers go from undisclosed parts of its business.
- The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Caesars Entertainment Corp. has also begun coronavirus-prompted layoffs.
- Kimpton Hotel Aventi in Manhattan, owned by the InterContinental Hotels Group, reportedly laid off 40 employees, while the Ian Schrager-owned Public temporarily laid off an undisclosed number of workers.
- SoftBank-backed Oyo Hotels laid off 3,000 of its China employees earlier in the month, equaling 30% of its workforce there, part of a global layoff of 5,000.
- Norwegian Air said Thursday that it would temporarily lay off up to 50% of its workforce, meaning 7,300 workers, and suspend 4,000 flights due to the pandemic.
- Scandic, the largest hotel operator in Europe’s Nordic countries, also said Thursday it would give termination notices to 2,000 Swedish employees.
- At least 50 employees of music and culture festival South By Southwest were let go after this year’s event was canceled, the Washington Post reported.
- Union leaders at a General Motors plant in Ontario, Canada have recommended a two week layoff due to concerns over the virus.
- The Port of Los Angeles let go of 145 drivers after ships from China stopped arriving.
- Christie Lights, an Orlando, Florida, based stage lighting company, laid off 100 employees.
- HMSHost, a Seattle, Washington, global restaurant-services provider said it would lay off 200 people and an area corporate shuttle service would lay off 75, HuffPost reported, while an area hotel chain eliminated an entire department, according to the Post.
- Travel agencies in Los Angeles, California, along with Atlanta, Georgia, had to let employees go as the pandemic battered their industry.
- Aid workers in Las Vegas are reportedly seeing a surge in requests for food assistance and other help as events and trade shows get canceled.
What to watch for: If any U.S. airlines end up laying off workers. Delta Airlines said Tuesday it was cutting flights and freezing hiring. American Airlines is also cutting flights, and delaying trainings for new flight attendants and pilots.
What we don’t know: Exactly how many restaurant workers have been laid off due to the pandemic. New York City, a dining mecca, has about 27,000 eating and drinking establishments that were staffed by over 300,000 people. Restaurants are able to fulfill delivery and takeout orders, but can do so using skeleton crews.
Big number: 33%. That’s how much unemployment claims jumped in the past week. CNBC reported Thursday that jobless claims rose to over 280,000 compared to about 211,000 from the previous week. It’s the highest number of weekly claims since 2017, according to the Department of Labor.
Key background: There are now more than 26,000 reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. and at least 340 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide cases now amount to over 311,000 infected and almost 13,500 dead. Meanwhile, President Trump signed a coronavirus relief bill into law Wednesday evening. A $1 trillion (or more) stimulus package proposed by the White House is currently being considered by Congress. New York and other state and city governments have declared states of emergency, banned large gatherings and ordered the closings of restaurants and bars to stem the spread of disease. Cancelations of concerts, sports leagues, festivals, religious gatherings and other large events have impacted millions of people. On Wednesday night, President Trump announced a 30 day travel ban from Europe (later including the U.K. and Ireland) that sent airlines and travelers scrambling to adjust, before declaring a national state of emergency March 13. Markets have essentially erased all gains made under the Trump presidency, underscoring the economic threat of coronavirus.