Coronavirus Outbreak Triggers Job Layoffs And Other Economic Effects - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

The fallout from the spread of the coronavirus has sent the stock market into a downfall, the sports industry to a standstill, and is now beginning to hit the job market as more Americans are being laid off every day.

More than 140 drivers have been laid off from the Port of Los Angeles and others have been sent home without pay due to the grinding halt of cargo ships from China. The travel industry has been hit hard by the spread. Flights have been canceled and cruise companies have suspended operations or increased safety measures. Additionally, travel agents are dealing with layoffs as companies try to save money.

According to Microsoft News, a stage-lighting company in Orlando has laid off more than 100 of its 500 workers nationwide in the past week with more layoffs coming.

Julia Pollak, a labor economist at ZipRecruiter, said more layoffs could be coming due to supply chains being shut down combined with people going out less often and spending less money.

“We will definitely see an effect on jobs from the coronavirus, and it could be pretty large in leisure and hospitality,” said Pollak. “The first thing we’ll see is a reduction in hours. We hear many reports of employers canceling staff everywhere except in healthcare.”

The World Health Organization officially called the virus a pandemic on Wednesday, making the situation even more serious. The virus has hit other industries including haircare products. Due to the restrictions on imports from factories primarily based in China, haircare businesses may soon have trouble fulfilling customer orders on wigs, weaves, and hair extensions.

Companies across the country are also reviewing their sick-leave policies due to the increasing number of workers who have to do their jobs from home or are being forced to self-quarantine.

Workers being laid off may have no idea whether these layoffs will be permanent and it is nearly impossible to look for another job right now, with many companies instituting hiring freezes because of the spread of the virus and the fact that isolation is one of the current methods to deal with the virus.