COVID-19: How American Industry Has Been Effected

The COVID 19 pandemic crisis has not been easy for anyone. Currently, in the United States, unemployment is 14.7% and over 20 million jobs have been lost. Every industry has been affected in some way and will continue to be as the year goes on.


Sobering statistics


Overall, layoffs and furloughs have effected minority workers, including people of color, women, as well as young workers the most. Furthermore, broader measures of joblessness that include part-time workers who want full-time work, discouraged workers no longer seeking employment, and the unemployed is at the highest it’s ever been: 22.8%. Another statistic to pay attention to the current job openings which have fallen by nearly 30% since March.

Unfortunately, some sectors of industry have been more heavily affected than others. Of course, the hospitality and entertainment industries have been among the most heavily affected, as well as small businesses, 64% of which were already struggling financially before COVID-19. Other heavily affected industries include real estate and related businesses, like landscaping and home renovation.


The status of the real estate market


Real estate is currently facing a strange dilemma where properties can’t be shown or inspected, and this isn’t likely to change for a while as most states have declared real estate nonessential. Virtual systems have helped the industry keep limping along but they are not nearly as effective as traditional methods. The decrease in real estate has affected many other industries like landscaping, which is recommended by nearly 90% of real estate agents. As a result, the home renovation industry has also suffered some serious losses.


The future of the housing market is a mystery but some think that unemployment and loss of funds could lead to a large number of foreclosures, putting more homes on the market and lowering prices.


Manufacturing follows suit


Manufacturing has taken a massive hit as well. Industries that produce items like plastics, sheet metal and other such products have experienced a large drop in activity due to containment measures. There are normally over 100,000 sheet metal workers in the U.S. but many have been furloughed as factory production slows.


Other factories, like those that produce food and especially the meatpacking plants, have faced massive shutdowns. Recently, Tyson plants have had more than half of their workers test positively for COVID-19. Should similar industries follow in Tyson’s footsteps, this could lead to massive food shortages across the United States.


Although many states are beginning the slow process of reopening, it is a long and perilous road to recovery. Every industry has been affected and some will never be the same again. However, most industry leaders are confident the economy will rebound as businesses reopen.


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