As the U.S. hunkers down indoors to control the spread of the coronavirus, people are starting to fret about their jobs, with experts saying some 50 percent could end up unemployed, according to a CNN report on Monday (March 16).
Virtually every industry is expected to be affected, from food trucks and restaurants to service businesses and gig economy workers. A study by Moody’s Analytics indicates that almost 80 million jobs are at risk — more than 50 percent of the 153 million occupations all around.
“People are going to be buying less of everything. The stock market is down and wiping out people’s nest eggs,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told CNN. “They’re worried ‘Am I going to get sick? Are my parents going to get sick?’ That’s a prescription for people going into the bunker and for job losses.”
Not everyone whose job is affected will end up unemployed by the time the pandemic is over, but it’s anticipated that some 10 million people will end up with less money and fewer hours. Some will be furloughed and others laid off, Zandi said.
Moody’s Analytics forecasts that 27 million positions are at high risk due to the virus, most being in hospitality, transportation, leisure and travel. Temporary workers will also be highly affected, as will people in the field of oil drilling and extraction, Zandi said.
“Maybe 20 percent of those workers, comprising about 5 million jobs, will be affected,” he said.