Now that we are more than a few months into the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, we can already begin to see just how devastating the impact has been on our local economies.
California has seen the number of residents claiming unemployment benefits rise from about 350,000 in March to a high of 4.8 million in May before settling in around 2.9 million throughout June and July.
And while numbers have spiked across just about every city and most industries, some locations and business models have been hit harder than others.
Unemployment Claims by Location
Unemployment claims across the state of California have increased dramatically over the past few months with the largest population centers getting hit the hardest.
Los Angeles County has had to deal with unemployment increasing from around 4% all the way up to over 20%. San Diego, Orange, and Riverside Counties are falling in right behind Los Angeles County with numbers rising from historically low to historically high numbers in just a few months.
And while the most populated areas of the state are getting hit the hardest, we are also seeing record unemployment coming out of the more rural parts of the state as well, so no geographic region is being spared right now.
Service Industries Leading the Suffering
Anyone who has watched the news over the past few months is already aware that food service, hospitality, and retail have been some of the hardest-hit industries, and that is especially true here in California.
A combination of government lockdowns and a lack of consumer confidence has created a loss of more than a million jobs in just those three sectors alone.
Industries like construction, education, and real estate are holding up better than most, but even they are seeing jobs vanish into thin air as this pandemic continues to force us to change just about every routine in our daily lives.
One Bright Spot: Temporary Furloughs
The one bright spot in all of this unemployment news is that the majority of jobs we have lost here in California are expected to come back once the pandemic is under control and some level of consumer confidence returns.
The majority of unemployment claims here in California have been for temporary furloughs, and it is expected that a strong majority of workers will have jobs to return to eventually.
However, as this pandemic progresses, it is becoming more and more difficult for businesses large and small to survive without their expected income streams available. And any businesses that don’t survive won’t be around for workers to return to.
Getting Back to Normal
We originally thought this pandemic would just be a two-week-long inconvenience back in March, but as we trend toward our sixth month of this new lifestyle terms like “The New Normal” are becoming more and more common.
However, the introduction of a vaccine this fall or next spring could be exactly what we need to get back to normal, but there is no guarantee that the residents here in California are going to be able to wait that long.