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Transportation Sector is Bleeding Jobs, More Cuts on the Way

Thursday May 28, 2020
Motorists ride past a mural honoring health care workers during the new coronavirus outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Motorists ride past a mural honoring health care workers during the new coronavirus outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia.  (Source:AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Thursday related to the national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.

IMMOBILIZED: Job cuts in the transportation industry have arrived this week by the thousands. The auto industry has suffered a number of setbacks, including interrupted production do to infection.

  • American Airlines will cut its 17,000 management and support staff by 30, about 5,100 jobs. Layoffs may begin in October if enough employees do not take buyout offers.

    Executive Vice President Elise Eberwein said in a memo to employees that nearly 39,000 people have signed up for partially paid leave or early retirement, and the airline has extended a buyout offer to administrative staff. Laid-off workers will be paid through Sept. 30 to comply with a no-furloughs provision attached to $5.8 billion in federal aid that American is getting to help cover payroll costs.

  • European budget carrier easyJet will cut up to a third of its workforce because of the pandemic. The airline has around 15,000 full-time employees — meaning some 4,500 jobs are at risk. The British carrier resumes limited service on June 15, but estimates that it may take three years to get back to 2019 demand levels.

  • Thailand says that 8.4 million people are at risk of losing their jobs this year due to pandemic, with the tourism sector being the most affected.

    The National Economic and Social Development Council estimated Thursday that the fall in the number of foreign and domestic tourists could mean that 2.5 million people, or 64% of the approximately 3.9 million workers in the tourism sector, could become unemployed. Another 1.5 million, or 25% of the 5.9 million person industrial workforce, could also be laid off. The jobs of 4.4 million people, or 43% of 10.3 million people working in the service sector outside of tourism, are also at risk.

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