As expected, retail, hospitality and restaurants account forhalf of the job losses in Orange County unemployment since thebeginning of the pandemic, according to a new report fromJLL. An amalgam of industries make up the otherhalf of job losses in Orange County, including medical, aerospaceand entertainment, which account for nearly a quarter of joblosses.


"During economic downturns we quickly realized how stronglyconnected sectors are to each other," JaredDienstag, research manager at JLL, tells "Inaddition to retail, restaurants and hospitality, there areexplanations for the layoffs from the other industries. For themedical layoffs, nearly 90% are dental related, which makes sensesince dental offices were closed with the exception of emergencies,however, dental offices are in the early stages of reopening.Aerospace has experienced layoffs because air travel came to a haltso the demand for aerospace parts and services has diminished. Theleisure and entertainment sector was hit hard with movie theaters,community centers, and performance venues closing down. While movietheaters are set to reopen at 25% capacity, larger entertainmentlocations remain closed."


Manufacturing, life science and the auto industry alsocontributed to the job losses in the market. "While the COVID-19outbreak brought increased demand for essential items, itsimultaneously brought decreased demand for non-essential products,which has caused layoffs in the manufacturing sector," he says."Almost all of the life science layoffs come from dental devicefirms, so without the demand from dentists these firms haveexperienced cutbacks. Because car sales dipped so much, theautomotive industry recorded layoffs with people holding back onbig-ticket purchases."


While Orange County has seen significant layoffs, the reportexpects that a many will return once the stay-at-home orders arelifted and we enter a recovery. So far, less that 1% of the layoffshave been the result of permanently business closures and 90% ofthe layoffs are considered temporary. "With many businessesstarting to reopen, the employment situation has already begun toshow signs of improvement, albeit, slight improvement," saysDienstag. "Returning to work could change based on how long ittakes conditions surrounding COVID-19 to improve. If COVID-19 casescontinue to rise which means businesses are unable to open up atfull capacity, then there will be fewer opportunities for people toreturn to their jobs."


Job recovery is good news for the local economy; however, theeconomic rebound will rely on more than just jobs. "While thereopening of businesses is a key part to recovery since that willget people back to work, it is not the only part," says Dienstag."The full swing of economic recovery should happen when most peoplefeel safe to be out in crowds, such as dining at restaurants,shopping at retail stores, travelling, and other activitieseveryone did prior to COVID-19. Of course, the development of avaccine is the best way to accomplish this, but even getting to thepoint where the number of new COVID-19 cases declines would be abig help."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.