MONEY MATTERS

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As the government continues to introduce measures to slow the spread of the virus and promote the best ways to guard against it, some employers may be reluctant to let their staff go just yet!

Coronavirus is fast disrupting Americans’ daily lives, from school to work to going out to socialize— and job experts say that will spell trouble for some U.S. workers more than others.

Restaurants and bars in seven states –– California, Connecticut, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington have been ordered to close with the exception of take-out services. The governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut also agreed to close movie theaters, gyms, and casinos in addition to banning gatherings of more than 50 people, effective Monday at 8 p.m.

“Declining consumer confidence, potentially severe retail-traffic declines, and temporary store closures are evolving risk factors that depend on uncertain variables like the geographic spread of the virus and the timing of containment/eradication solutions,” analysts at Cowen, an investment bank and financial-services company. wrote in a note this month.

This did not show up in last week’s jobless claims report where jobless claims dropped 4,000 to 211,000 in the seven days ended March 7. The total number of people already collecting unemployment benefits declined by 11,000 to 1.72 million. That number reached nearly 6.6 million near the end of the Great Recession. Thomas Simons, senior money market economist at Jefferies LLC, expects to see an increase in jobless claims in Thursday’s report. “That will be the start of a trend,” he said, adding that “The travel, leisure & hospitality, airline, and other industries are going to experience layoffs, as well as small businesses in areas where large public gatherings have been cancelled or postponed.”

Already, there have been 634 job cuts in the U.S. specifically tied to the outbreak of novel coronavirus as of March 15, according to Challenger, Gray, and Christmas, a Chicago-based outplacement and career-transitioning firm. Challenger arrived at that number by tracking company announcements and news reports that explicitly link job layoffs to the coronavirus outbreak.

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