The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most devastating health emergencies in American history. Health officials have confirmed more than 2.3 million cases, with over 122,000 of them fatal. As people were told to stay home and avoid going out and nonessential businesses were ordered to close, the American economy has been left devastated.
Some businesses were able to weather the economic fallout, but many were not. A May study from the National Bureau of Economic Research estimated that because of the pandemic over 100,000 small businesses permanently closed. Larger businesses were not immune to the effects, either. Some major American companies with hundreds of locations across the country have also struggled.
While small businesses may have to close their doors, larger businesses often decide to seek bankruptcy protection in the hopes of restructuring their debt and turning their companies around. While some succeed and exit bankruptcy better-positioned to compete in their industry, others do not and are liquidated. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed major companies that have filed, or are likely to file, for bankruptcy.
Companies in certain industries have been especially vulnerable to the economic effects of the pandemic: oil and gas companies had to contend with plunging oil prices as a result of both a lack of demand as people traveled less and a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia; retailers were among the many nonessential businesses ordered to close; and as business travel and vacations were canceled, car rental businesses had few customers if any. These are the U.S. industries being devastated by the coronavirus.
As businesses had to contend with a lack of income, many were forced to furlough employees or permanently lay them off. The U.S. is now facing an unprecedented economic crisis, with over 45 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits since mid-March. Some states that are especially reliant on hard-hit industries were hit much harder than others, leading to much higher unemployment rates in these states. These are every state’s unemployment claims since COVID-19 shut the economy down.