Tracking how the coronavirus crushed California’s workforce

Tracking how the coronavirus crushed California’s workforce

2.8 million
16.3%
283,622

The coronavirus outbreak decimated California's economy. Millions of workers lost their jobs following business closures and mass layoffs. Unprecedented numbers of people sought government assistance to pay their bills.

The Times is tracking the fallout as businesses begin to reopen. Here's what the data show:

Widespread damage

The state's unemployment tally has towered in all 58 counties. The largest losses are in urban areas like Los Angeles, but workers in rural regions, such as the state's interior and far north, have also lost work due to the lockdown.

Source: California Economic Development Department, Times analysis

How to file for unemployment in California

Lost your job? Had your hours reduced? Consult our guide to filing for unemployment benefits.

Some sectors hit harder

While every major sector of the state's economy has shed jobs, some have lost more than others. The lockdown measures designed to slow the spread of the virus have been especially hard on businesses in food service, hospitality and retail sales.

California jobs lost since February, by category

Source: California Economic Development Department

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Massive ‘temporary’ layoffs

COVID-19 prompted an explosion of mass layoffs and plant closings by California companies, according to a Times analysis of notices filed under state and federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification laws.

More than 405,913 workers have been affected — about 2,780 per day — since February 1, when the recession began, the records show.

California employees affected each day by mass layoffs

Source: California Economic Development Department, Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom
Last updated: June 22

Most of these 3,494 mass layoff notices have been labeled as temporary. Tesla told state regulators that some or all of the 10,000 workers it furloughed in April could eventually return, according to a letter obtained by The Times.

About 76% of the employees affected statewide were the result of similar moves by firms. Still, that leaves at least 51,086 workers with permanent job losses — most of which can be attributed to COVID-19, according to the analysis.

Employees affected by permanent, temporary and indefinite layoffs

Source: California Economic Development Department
Dates reflect the dates listed on notices by companies. Employee totals are cumulative, by type.
Last updated: June 22

As of June 22, more than 2,491 companies in 51 counties had sent such notices to the state. The Times added up employees affected by each company and location. About 120,909 employees were hit in Los Angeles County, the records show.

Source: California Economic Development Department
Last updated: June 22