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Coronavirus job losses at bars and restaurants
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Restaurant and bars account for more than half of the US jobs lost in March

Amrita Khalid
By Amrita Khalid

Tech reporter

Much of American public life is at a standstill during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to crippling job losses for the leisure and hospitality sector. A total of 701,000 jobs were lost in March, according to the US Department of Labor’s monthly report, released yesterday. While no sector was immune, restaurants and bars accounted for 60%, or 419,000, of the jobs cut.

Indeed they made up the bulk of losses in the “leisure and hospitality” category, which registered 459,000 overall. Once the fastest-growing area for job growth in the United States, the food service industry has seen the most immediate and drastic losses to its workforce.

The hotel category accounted for 29,000 of the jobs lost. Last month, major chains such as Marriott and DoubleTree laid off thousands of employees or put them on unpaid leave.

The federal government added 18,000 jobs, largely explained by all the workers hired for the 2020 US Census.

States most reliant on tourism are likely to be the hardest hit financially due to the pandemic, according to recent research by Moody’s Analytics that Yahoo Finance reported on today. Nevada, Hawaii, Washington, New York, and Florida were among the states that analysts felt would face the worst financial fallout from the virus.

“Healthcare and social assistance” shed another 43,000 jobs, mostly due to dentists, private medical practices, and healthcare clinics halting operations. Retail, from furniture to clothing to books, cut another 46,000.

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