Long Island is facing a net loss of up to 375,000 jobs by the end of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a bicounty report released Thursday.
The job losses, according to the report, will result in $21 billion in earnings losses for Long Island workers and $40 billion more in reduced economic activity.
According to the report, Long Island businesses shed 270,000 jobs in the first two months of the pandemic. The report also projects upwards of 175,000 additional job losses owing to the effects of the economic slowdown from May onwards.
The report shows that individuals with less education and lower earnings than others were impacted the most. Long Island’s lowest-paying sector, hospitality, experienced the greatest decline during the initial months of the crisis, with employment decreasing by two-thirds, or 82,000, according to the report.
The report also shows that 27 percent of the hospitality workers on Long Island are Hispanic or Latino, compared with 17 percent of all workers, which indicated disparate impacts for the minority population.
Households with lower incomes and communities of color, the report said, may suffer from slower recovery rates due to pre-existing financial inequities such as limited credit access, lack of affordable housing and a lack of access to other job opportunities.
“With the fastest rise of unemployment on record, leading to a complete fall off of economic activity, this report outlines the economic shock to our local economy and the continued pain among our businesses and minority communities – hit hardest by the pandemic in more ways than one,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.
Other industries that were most heavily affected in terms of lost jobs were health care/social assistance with 59,000 lost jobs, retail with 52,000, construction with 37,000, administrative and waste services with 27,000, personal services with 26,000, and real estate with 24,000.
A total of 73 percent of job losses were people with a high school diploma but projected job losses were heavily concentrated with workers who did not obtain a post-secondary education, the report shows.
The report, conducted by HR&A Advisors, aimed to develop a dynamic approach in measuring the real-time economic impact of the pandemic throughout Long Island. County officials for both Nassau and Suffolk will use the data to make requests for resources and short- and long-term resilience planning, according to the report.
“As local governments and business leaders shift their focus from emergency response to recovery, we believe that this work will inform the pursuit of a just and resilient recovery for the region, one that grapples with the underlying economic and social challenges that have made COVID-19 so devastating for marginalized and vulnerable populations on Long Island,” HR&A Partner Shuprotim Bhaumik said.
Curran and Nassau County’s Industrial Development Agency Chairman Richard Kessel emphasized the need for federal aid to combat these losses.
“This report clearly shows the need for significant federal assistance to help both counties and especially our small businesses and downtowns reopen, survive and thrive,” Kessel said.
“This report underscores that we cannot recover from this devastating crisis alone – Washington needs to step in now with support for local governments so we can continue to provide vital services for our residents,” Curran said.
A potential source for financial relief from the federal government is the HEROES Act, which included $275 billion in budgetary relief for local governments to prevent cuts in public services, layoffs, and tax increases.