While you can never rely exclusively on numbers to tell the story of a situation like the Covid-19 pandemic, it is also hard to understate just how astronomical some of the unemployment numbers have been as a result of this crisis.
By the Numbers
A recent article published in the Los Angeles Times cited that more than 20 million Americans lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, which spiked the national unemployment rate up to over 14%.
That’s a huge increase over the record low unemployment rates President Trump was touting at the beginning of the year, and some economists believe that as many as half of those jobs are never coming back.
Record unemployment numbers have created huge costs for state unemployment programs, and those same states are struggling with lower-than-expected revenue from income and sales taxes over the past few months.
The impact of the pandemic has been felt by just about every possible industry, but some have had it worse than others.
With airline traffic being reduced to almost nothing, it is no surprise that every major airline is struggling. On top of that, retail operations that don’t have a strong online presence are also suffering.
There are a few restaurants that seem to be doing well with takeout and delivery options, but the majority of that industry is also struggling to find ways to service their customers without putting them at risk.
Anything related to tourism is also going to have a rough time until people feel safe again, and there have also been huge cuts at manufacturing companies, local governments, and across the entertainment industry.
The One Bright Spot
With so many people stuck at home over the past few months, just about any business that is based around an online shopping and delivery model has likely seen some unexpected growth in their results.
But even these companies that have been virtually unscathed thus far could be in for a bumpy ride if the economy does not recover quickly.
Everyone is excited to get into the reopening phases and to try to return to some form of normal, but this is likely to put even more stress on an already sputtering economy.
Reopening sounds great in theory, but with everyone adapting to new ways of doing business and limited capacities, making a profit may not go hand-in-hand with reopening the way that many businesses expect.
In addition to limited capacities, most industries are also expecting lower-than-usual demand for products and services across the board due to the fact that many customers just aren’t going to be comfortable going out in public like they used to.
Those same businesses are also concerned with the liability and potential bad press of being an establishment that ends up helping to spread the disease during the expected second wave.
Despite all of these struggles and challenges, there will almost certainly be an end to this current pandemic, and life will eventually return to some form of normal. The businesses that best adapt to the new landscape will be the ones that survive and prosper in that new normal.