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Macy's to furlough most of its 130,000 employees after being forced to close its 500 stores

Coronavirus job losses in the United States could hit 47 million, with unemployment at more than 30 per cent, according to stark new estimates by a Federal Reserve. 

The shocking prediction by the Fed’s St. Louis district project came as Macy’s announced it will furlough a majority of its 130,000 workers.

The retail giant on Monday said it is transitioning to an ‘absolute minimum workforce’ needed to maintain basic operations.

St. Louis Fed economist Miguel Faria-e-Castro said of the unemployment estimates: ‘These are very large numbers by historical standards, but this is a rather unique shock that is unlike any other experienced by the U.S. economy in the last 100 years.’ 

Online operations for the country’s largest department store chain won’t be hit as hard.

Employees who are enrolled in health benefits will continue to receive coverage with the company covering 100 per cent of the premium.

Unemployment in the United States hit a record high last week with 3.28million people – four times the previous record – making claims. 

People gather at the entrance for the New York State Department of Labor offices in Brooklyn

People gather at the entrance for the New York State Department of Labor offices in Brooklyn

Macy's is furloughing most of its 130,000 workers beginning this week as its sales have collapsed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The New York flagship store is pictured

Macy’s is furloughing most of its 130,000 workers beginning this week as its sales have collapsed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The New York flagship store is pictured 

‘We expect to bring colleagues back on a staggered basis as business resumes,’ Macy’s company said.

Macy’s closed all of its stores this month, more than 500, as the coronavirus spread.

To survive, it has suspended its dividend, drawn down its line of credit, frozen hiring and spending, and cancelled orders. Macy’s is now evaluating all financing options.

The retailer said in a statement Monday: ‘[The covid-19] outbreak continues to take a heavy toll on Macy’s business.

‘We have lost the majority of our sales due to the store closures.’ 

The company had already announced in February that it would close 125 stores, before the coronavirus outbreak. 

Around 2,000 workers were let go at that point.  

Three million people filed unemployment claims between March 14 and March 21, according to a staggering report that was released by the Department of Labor on Thursday morning.

In the week ending March 14, the number of initial claims was 282,000 – meaning 3,001,000 new ones have been filed since then.

The previous high was 695,000 in October 1982. The report says service industries – specifically food and accommodation – are the hardest hit but that claims are also coming from the healthcare industry and from people who work in manufacturing, entertainment and arts.

America’s oldest restaurant Delmonico’s raises money for their laid-off employees

America’s oldest restaurant Delmonico’s is among eateries and bars across the country raising money on GoFundMe for their employees who have been laid off during the coronavirus lockdown. 

New York City’s 182-year-old restaurant, Delmonico’s, shared news of their efforts to raise $200,000 for their employees over the weekend. 

As of Monday morning, they have raised a little over $2,800 toward their goal.

New York City's 182-year-old restaurant, Delmonico's (pictured in April 2016), shared news of their efforts to raise $200,000 for their employees over the weekend

New York City’s 182-year-old restaurant, Delmonico’s (pictured in April 2016), shared news of their efforts to raise $200,000 for their employees over the weekend

Delmonico's temporarily shut their doors and 'suspended all operations' as part of the lockdown on March 18. This image shows cooks preparing food at Delmonico's in 1902

Delmonico’s temporarily shut their doors and ‘suspended all operations’ as part of the lockdown on March 18. This image shows cooks preparing food at Delmonico’s in 1902 

‘It is with much sadness that Delmonico’s was forced to temporarily close our doors. As America’s oldest restaurant, this is an extraordinary moment for us,’ the Delmonico’s team wrote on their GoFundMe page.  

‘During this time of uncertainty many of our guests, friends, and neighbors have asked what they can do to financially assist the Delmonico’s staff impacted by this profound event.

‘We have set up a Delmonico’s Employee Relief Fund to support our coworkers. Any contributions during this difficult time means more to us than you will ever know,’ the team added. 

Delmonico’s temporarily shut its doors and ‘suspended all operations’ as part of the lockdown on March 18.   

New York restaurateurs like Matter House and Grovehouse have also set up GoFundMe accounts after they suspended all operations at their restaurants across the city.  

Across the United States, restaurateurs are transforming operations to try to stay afloat. 

The National Restaurant Association warns the outbreak could cost 5 million to 7 million jobs and hundreds of billions in losses and is pushing for a special federal relief package for restaurants.   

Before the virus hit, unemployment in the US was at its lowest in 60 years and the economy was stronger than it had ever been.

Congress has put together a $2.2 trillion stimulus package which will give Americans increased unemployment benefits and one-time checks of $1,200 if they earn less than $95,000 to try to ease some of the strain.

 

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Written by Angle News

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