Unemployment rises in the midst of COVID-19

Bay Area suffers an increase in job losses

Bay Area employers filed 18,500 planned layoff notices From March 15 to April 13 state Employment Development Department documents show.
Many high-profile businesses were affected by the latest round of proposed employment reductions.

Team San Jose, the Umbrella Group for the San Jose Convention Center has reported 1,304 job losses and Levi’s Stadium’s food service company has reported 613 job losses since April 10.
“Once I was told the news that we were shut down, I wasn’t sure how to react,” said Sabrina LeLieur, 27, who lost her job at Levi’s Stadium. “I just hope we can return to some form of normalcy, but there are so many safety concerns for big events.”
Macy’s and its partner Bloomingdales operate over 14 department stores, three furniture stores and mattress gallery stores in the Bay Area. This includes a location at Westfield Valley Fair mall that opened in early March, which was staffed by 300 workers prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We will be moving to the absolute minimum workforce needed to maintain basic operations,” Macy’s posted on its website March 30. “This means the majority of our colleagues will go on furlough beginning this week.”
Although Macy’s has not released the total number of layoffs, the majority of its estimated 125,000 – 130,000 employees will be furloughed.
Although unrelated to the coronavirus, the closing of an Antioch Macy’s department store in January cost the jobs of over 100 employees.
“I honestly enjoy the time I’ve been spending with my family during quarantine,” said Trisha Le, 46, who filed for unemployment after losing her job at a Santa Clara hair salon. “But I’ve worked every day since I was 14 and have never felt so useless.”
Between February and March, the number of hospitality jobs decreased by 6,200.

Comparing March 2019 to March 2020, hospitality jobs had a loss of 9,100, which is the largest employment loss compared to jobs in construction and private services discovered in a report released by the State of California’s Employment Development Department on April 17.

“Losing my job and being stuck at home has greatly affected my mental health,” said Oneil Pascual, 22, who lost his restaurant job in Santa Clara because of COVID19. “I’m worried about how things will be after quarantine and if the economy can recover from this.”

The unemployment rate has reached 3.3% in Santa Clara and 7.9% in San Benito county since March. Though many have lost their jobs, the EDD also reports that the government had a gain of 500 jobs and 400 jobs in professional and business services, respectively.

“Given the many uncertainties involved, perhaps it’s better to say that unemployment has risen by 10 to 20 million,” said Economic professor at University of Michigan Justin Wolfers in New York Times article published on April 3. “That means that the unemployment rate is probably between 10 percent and 15 percent.”