COVID-19

Disney laying off 28,000 employees, mostly at theme parks

Nova Safo Sep 30, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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The company says two-thirds of those who will be laid off are part-time employees. Derek Lee/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images
COVID-19

Disney laying off 28,000 employees, mostly at theme parks

Nova Safo Sep 30, 2020
The company says two-thirds of those who will be laid off are part-time employees. Derek Lee/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Disney has just announced a huge number of layoffs: 28,000 people will lose their jobs, many from its theme parks, with Disney World in Florida running at limited capacity and Disneyland in California still closed.

Disney employs about 100,000 workers at its U.S. theme parks. The company says two-thirds of those who will be laid off are part-time employees.

The head of Disney’s theme parks unit said in a statement that uncertainty over the pandemic’s duration had made cuts unavoidable, while also blaming California’s “unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.”

In Florida, Walt Disney World is open at limited capacity after the company reached a deal with unions representing workers there on various health safeguards.

Disney workers’ unions released a statement expressing disappointment over the layoffs, saying they have begun negotiations over details such as extended health benefits for affected workers.

Disney posted a loss of almost $5 billion for the three months ending in June, its first quarterly loss in nearly two decades.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

Are people still waiting for unemployment payments?

Yes. There is no way to know exactly how many people have been waiting for months and are still not getting unemployment, because states do not have a good system in place for tracking that kind of data, according to Andrew Stettner of The Century Foundation. But by his own calculations, only about 60% of people who have applied for benefits are currently receiving them. That means there are millions still waiting. Read more here on what they are doing about it.

What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?

A report out Tuesday from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.

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