The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, which has been designated a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, is having a devastating impact on the U.S. economy. After peaking at 29,000 in February, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell below 21,000 by mid-March — a nearly 30% drop. On March 16, the Dow fell by nearly 3,000 points, the largest single-day drop in history.
As the U.S. tries to stem the spread of the virus and contain the outbreak, life is slowly grinding to a halt — and with it much of the economy. While all industries have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, some bear the brunt of the downturn much more than others. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed industry publications and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine the U.S. industries being devastated most by the outbreak.
The restaurant industry is one of the most exposed industries to major upheaval as a result of the pandemic, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended avoiding groups of over 50 people. Some cities and states have told restaurants to switch to takeout only. Millions of jobs in the sector could either be lost or severely impacted by the outbreak. This is what the restaurant industry is doing to combat the virus.
Some American workers have already been laid off or furloughed, and more job cuts are likely. As people start to socially distance themselves, those in white collar jobs will more easily be able to work from home, while hourly workers in sectors like hospitality and retail may be let go as their companies get less business. This further jeopardizes some of the least financially secure workers in the country — jobs in these fields are often part-time and typically pay low wages. These are the lowest paying jobs in America.