Job losses stemming from the coronavirus outbreak have already started, reports The Washington Post.
Globally, more than 115,000 people have been infected by the virus and more than 4,200 have died from a pandemic that started in Wuhan, China.
The outbreak has already prompted hundreds of layoffs over the past week and hit the stock market hard – Wall Street went into a deep slump Wednesday after the World Health Organization designated the virus a pandemic.
Hotels, travel agencies, airlines and event companies have all been hit hard because of coronavirus-related job cuts.
United Airlines, for instance, announced it will next month cut international flights by 20 percent and domestic flights by 10 percent. Other airlines are already furloughing workers.
Restaurants will certainly feel the crunch as spending behaviors change and, the cancelation of major conferences, sporting events and group gatherings will also create a ripple effect.
"We will definitely see an effect on jobs from the coronavirus, and it could be pretty large in leisure and hospitality," said Julia Pollak, labor economist at ZipRecruiter. "The first thing we'll see is a reduction in hours. We hear many reports of employers canceling staff everywhere except in healthcare."
The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in February, a 50-year low, though the threat to the global economy from the virus could hinder hiring in the months ahead.
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