Economy

Economist: 42 Pct Of Pandemic Layoffs Will Be Permanent

layoffs

A recent economic survey forecasts that 42 percent of layoffs will bring about permanent job losses. In a televised interview on CNBC, University of Chicago Booth School Professor Steven Davis pointed to the airline industry as one example of job losses that won’t be temporary.

Davis noted that businesses are doing a lot less travel than they were before the pandemic — and they won’t go back to where they were soon. The airline industry, he said, is down over 90 percent from a year earlier. It won’t go back to those levels in the near future. “That’s a lot of lost jobs,” he said.

In healthcare, he pointed to a shift to telemedicine that won’t reverse. Some medical clinics and doctors are going to be adept at meeting the demand for telemedicine, he said. And, in retail, Davis noted a shift from dine-in to delivery and takeout at restaurants.

“It’s already happened, and some of it will stay in place,” he said.

When temporary layoffs occurred in the past, he noted, most of the jobs came back in two months — the positions that returned. However, he said, the pandemic looks like it will go on much longer than that. As a result, many of those so-called temporary layoffs won’t bring about recalls.

PYMNTS data indicates that consumers believe the pandemic will last 225 days as of April 27, which was up from 178 days on April 11.

And, in only eight weeks, PYMNTS has observed four times more consumers ordering takeout from eateries or aggregators, four times more consumers purchasing groceries through the web in lieu of traveling to the supermarket and three times more consumers shopping for the web for products other than groceries.

Also, just 36 percent of consumers PYMNTS surveyed who went to eat at restaurants pre-pandemic say they would go back to their pre-pandemic restaurant habits.

In addition, 65 percent of consumers who have used order-order or ordered from food aggregators more often since restaurants shuttered in the middle of March will keep using them just as much after eateries open again.

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