4.4 Million Jobs Hit by Bar, Restaurant Closures

More than 4.4 million workers will be affected by actions taken Sunday by five states and New York City to try to stem the spread of COVID-19. According to a report from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 2.06 million California jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry could be temporarily lost, along with 625,000 in Illinois, 537,000 in Ohio, nearly 450,000 in New York City, 380,600 in Massachusetts and 355,900 in Washington.

Another 313,000 workers in Missouri could be told to stay home if the state imposes restrictions on large gatherings.

Actual job losses remain relatively minor compared to the sector totals listed here. According to Challenger, U.S. companies have announced 634 job cuts specifically tied to the COVID-19 outbreak. Another 460 job losses have been attributed to a downturn in demand, but Challenger was unable to confirm that these cuts were due to the outbreak.

According to Challenger tracking, in addition to state-mandated closings of bars and restaurants, 99 companies and organizations have publicly announced action due to the COVID-19 outbreak, up from 28 on Friday.

For instance, not included in Challenger’s numbers are recent announcements from MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN), both of which are closing their Las Vegas properties temporarily. MGM will shut down casino operations beginning Monday and would not accept new reservations for arrivals before May 1. Wynn Resorts will close for two weeks beginning Tuesday, March 17, at 6 p.m.

In its latest annual report, Wynn noted that it employed 16,400 people in the United States at its operations in Massachusetts and Nevada. MGM reported 52,000 full-time and 18,000 part-time employees in the United States. MGM operates seven properties in Las Vegas and eight in other U.S. states.

As of Monday, 23 companies have offered their workers remote work options or are testing the possibility, up from 16 on Friday.

As of last week, 256 colleges and universities have suspended classes or moved to remote learning, according to Bryan Alexander, a senior scholar at Georgetown University.