As we come to the end of the trading week at the start of December, what is happening with the economy is stunning.
December 4 (King World News) – Danielle DiMartino Booth at Quill Intelligence: QI went to the emergency room yesterday which got us to thinking, of course, about the origins of the ER. As it turns out, the original “Accident Room,” with all of two beds, is associated with a name we hear a lot these days – Johns Hopkins. Would you believe the first patients were treated free of charge? They even got transportation to and from in a Baltimore police patrol wagon. In the 1950s, Hopkins originated the Emergency Squad Doctor Plan — physicians on call were dispatched to the scene of accidents. In 1961, 47 miles south, Dr. James D. Mills of Alexandria convinced three of his co-workers to leave their practices to open the first facility dedicated to Emergency Medicine (EM). Five years on, Vietnam War medics realized trauma care in the field was much further along than EM care back in the States. Recognition of the uniqueness of EM was advanced in 1968 with the founding of the American College of Emergency Physicians. And in 1970, Bruce Janiak enrolled at the University of Cincinnati becoming the first emergency resident trainee.
These days, ER doctors are busier than ever, triaging countless COVID-19 patients. You’d think Healthcare would be a bustling profession in this medically historic year. In fact, layoffs in this field have risen to 62,590 from 2019’s 43,443, a 44% increase in the year through November 30, according to the latest tally from Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Ambulatory care, a.k.a. doctors’ offices, withstood a deep blow at the outset of the virus. We can personally attest to being almost a year behind on all forms of preventative care here at QI. We suspect we’re not alone.
The initial shutdown of elective procedures was the insult to the injury. After a brief respite, record hospitalizations are forcing another pause in anything nonessential. Medical suppliers have taken note. In announcing an additional 2,900 layoffs yesterday, 3M said, “nonemergency medical procedures are unlikely to recover through next year as patients continue to stay away from hospitals and health-care facilities where patients are being treated for coronavirus.”
As you see in today’s heatmap, Healthcare made the Top 10 of the worst hit sectors this year. Entertainment & Leisure is, no shock, the hardest hit of the lot with an astounding 857,620 losses thus far this year. That number will also continue to rise into next year as reclosures and tempered travel continue to hammer this part of the economy. The Anaheim Ducks are the latest casualty to hit the headlines. The team, which is not among those proposing outdoor play to bring fans back, will lay off 15% of its full-time staff across its business lines including the Honda Center where all events have been postponed until at least the spring. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s target date of January 1 to drop the puck is also likely to be pushed back.
Had you asked anyone in 2019 if the shrinkage in the Retail workforce would be worse in the year to come, they’d have thought you were out of your head. And yet, here we are with 182,307 fewer workers, more than double last year’s losses. Fashion apparel retailer Express announced yesterday it would reduce its Columbus, Ohio headquarters staff by an additional 10% as it combats the Work from Home trend that negates the need for women to buy its career and event wear.
Transportation rounds out the three worst affected sectors with 170,129 tallied job cuts thus far this year. Even as Dow Jones enthusiasts were celebrating the Ryanair purchase of Boeing planes yesterday, Southwest Airlines put a number of 6,800 on the first layoffs the air carrier has seen in its 49 years.
Andrew Challenger noted that, “Not only are airlines having trouble with decreased travelers, but local transportation authorities are feeling the loss of ridership this year.” On Wednesday, the DC Metro announced it was looking to close 19 stations and eliminate 3,800 positions through attrition, buyouts and layoffs. The cuts will go into effect January 23rd, right after the inauguration. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority joined its peers Thursday announcing 1,226 redundancies.
The thing is, November was a reprieve month for layoffs. While up 45.5% over the same month in 2019, total cuts of 64,797 were 19.7% lower than October’s tally and the year’s second lowest. We’re often asked where we track all of the anecdata that make the dry statistics real. DailyJobCuts.com has become a critical resource in that mission. Though the website tracks headlines, its data back Challenger’s regimented approach. The critical difference and value add is that the site also tracks announced closures through which to see the tragic face of small businesses destruction. Consider the last three months:
- September 41,881 layoffs and 171 closings
- October 15,600 layoffs and 428 closings
- November 4,261 layoffs and 246 closings
That steady drumbeat of closures bothers you? Us, too.
The chief reasons Challenger cited for headcount reduction last month were Market Conditions, Demand Downturn and Restructuring. COVID-19, itself responsible for half of the year’s 2.2 million layoffs, came in a distant fourth. That’s no nuance and why we’ll be keen to see this morning’s increase in permanent joblessness. Conventional recession characteristics are increasingly manifest in this unique cycle that’s been consumed by the temporary narrative.
As for pandemic-proof industries, Chemical, Financial, Pharmaceutical, and Utility are the four that have seen fewer layoffs announced this year vis-à-vis 2019. While vaccine hopes are heartening, layoffs and bankruptcies quickening in the space of a week suggest the job market will struggle to steer clear of the ER into the New Year.
Within hours KWN will be releasing two audio interviews. Until then…
Also just released! This Is Going To Create Global Chaos And Spike The Price Of Gold Higher CLICK HERE TO READ.
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