More than four out of five workers in the global workforce of 3.3 billion have been affected by the novel coronavirus, according to the International Labour Organization, an agency of the United Nations. Some industries, like the medical and retail sectors, have been hit harder than most. Here are some jobs that have felt the effects of COVID-19 more than others.
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Not only are many health care workers overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases across the country, but their own health is also put at risk by being on the frontlines. According to recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 9,300 U.S. health care workers had contracted COVID-19. A stark 55% of those who tested positive reported contact with a coronavirus patient only in health care settings.
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According to research from the National Restaurant Association, American restaurants are on track to lose more than $80 billion in sales by the end of April and up to $240 billion by the end of the year. The loss is a direct result of the stay-at-home orders across almost all 50 states, which prohibit customers from dining in. Many cities and states allow restaurants to do only takeout and delivery.
Though the initial stockpiling phase may be over, customers will likely be making trips to their local grocery stores to replenish essential items. Grocery stores have not been impacted negatively when it comes to revenue and sales, but the toll the virus has had on frontline workers has already been devastating. Employees at major chains such as Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Safeway and Kroger have died from COVID-19.
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As people have had to cancel trips and hotel bookings, the demand for hotels has naturally declined. According to hospitality sector research firm STR, in the first week of March, there was an 11.6% decline in revenue per room available in hotels across the country compared to the same week last year. And in March, the hotel chain Marriott, the world’s largest hotel company, put thousands of workers on furlough. Other hotels are following suit. Some companies including Best Western are also implementing layoffs in an effort to get their companies financially through the pandemic.
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Major leagues like the NBA, MLB, NHL as well as NCAA college championship tournaments have all been postponed and the loss of revenue will be massive. Statistics-driven site FiveThirtyEight estimates that the NBA stands to lose $350 million to $450 million from ticket sales alone if the remainder of the games are not played — and that estimate doesn’t include money lost from canceled playoff games. The cancellation of sports impacts millions of people from players to concession workers to security staff.
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Movie theaters, concert venues, music festivals and the like have had no choice but to shut their doors and offer refunds based on the CDC’s social distancing recommendations. In March, Cinemark announced that it would be temporarily closing all of its theaters across the country. The closure marked the third major theater chain to halt business amid the coronavirus pandemic, following AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas.
Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are seeing their ridership plummet as most people are staying home — with the exception being essential trips for groceries and medicine. According to multiple reports, rideshare drivers have seen their earnings drop significantly and many have switched to food or grocery delivery. According to the Chicago Tribune, both Uber and Lyft have said they will begin offering their drivers up to 14 days of paid sick leave if they come down with coronavirus or are quarantined because of the illness.
The retail industry has also been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak with a number of stores already having to close. Apple has closed all of its stores outside of China until further notice, and other retailers like Macy's, Sephora, Victoria's Secret, Ralph Lauren, Nordstrom, H&M, DSW, Bath & Body Works and more have implemented similar protocols. Because most of these retail jobs are often part-time and hourly, the consequences are much higher than for those in white-collar industries who have the option of working from home.
While people in non-essential jobs across the country are under stay-at-home orders, food delivery workers are on the go. Customers can still order food through apps like DoorDash, Postmates and Uber Eats, but couriers are often faced with concerns about their own well-being. Most companies are maintaining regular rates for their delivery workers. Postmates also launched the Postmates Fleet Relief Fund to help cover the costs of co-pays or medical expenses related to COVID-19 for their workers.
If the major businesses have been shaken, it’s no surprise local small businesses have been impacted even more. Per recommendations from the CDC and state governments, many people must limit their exposure to the outside world, which means no more haircuts, no more trips to the local bakery and no more perusing best-sellers at the bookstore.
The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel due to COVID-19. And as domestic flights are also discouraged amid the outbreak, the airline industry is feeling a dire impact between lost revenue, flight cancellations and waived flight change fees. In early April, more than 30,000 Delta employees volunteered for unpaid leaves, but the airline still needs more. And along with Delta, JetBlue, American and United submitted applications for government grants to avoid furloughing their employees. Based on the current climate, the Centre for Aviation predicts most airlines in the world will be bankrupt by the end of May 2020. If you still have pending flights, make sure you know all the steps you need to take in order to appropriately cancel your trip.
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