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U.S. layoffs surge as jobless claims remain high amid COVID-19

Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous, Brian Sozzi, and Sibile Marcellus discuss which companies are cutting jobs amid COVID-19.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: As the world continues to struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic, we're seeing a slew of employee layoffs across major companies. Yahoo Finance's Sibile Marcellus joins us with the details. Sibile, what's interesting here-- it's not just one industry in particular. Really these layoffs are coming throughout different sectors.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: That's right, Brian. We're seeing that new records are being set for layoffs. And September has been a very tough month for Americans. A new record was set in terms of layoffs. So a new report came out-- showed that over 118,000 people lost their jobs. That's an 186% increase from September last year. Now, here is an indication of the tens of thousands of Americans who were let go just this week.

Here's a list of some of those companies. Disney announced on Tuesday that it was laying off 28,000 workers across its theme parks. Goldman Sachs, among the banks that promised at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic that it would hold off on layoffs-- well, now it's pulling the trigger on that. Goldman Sachs cutting 400 jobs. Citigroup eliminated three managing director positions and is looking at further layoffs. Allstate-- they are laying off 3,800 workers.

Then you've got the airlines-- they've been warning for a while that if Washington was not able to come up with another round of fiscal stimulus to help the airline industry survive that tens of thousands workers would be laid off. Well, that day has come. They were banned from doing it through September 30th. Today is October 1st, and we're seeing United involuntarily furloughing 13,432 workers. You've got Alaska Airlines announced that it's going to be furloughing 532 workers. And American is going to be letting go approximately 19,000 workers.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Yeah, there are really tough numbers to watch and to hear. And you know, in terms of the airlines. Helane Becker of Cowen Securities, an airline analyst, says that she doesn't see a recovery for this industry for the next two to possibly five years, and says that if the government doesn't step up, we could even start to see liquidations amongst the make the major airlines. But I want to get back to sectors for a minute. Sibile, I know that we said these layoffs are happening across many different industries, but is there one industry that has sort of taken the brunt of these layoffs more than another?

SIBILE MARCELLUS: Yeah. So at the beginning of the coronavirus shut down, we saw it was the leisure and hospitality industry. That was the hardest hit. But as we continue to continue in this economic crisis, we're seeing that other sectors that weren't initially affected, where people could actually work from home-- we're seeing that those sectors now are laying off thousands of workers combined. So we're seeing that, when it comes to labor market, it's still very difficult. And there's still plenty of challenges for Americans. And that need for another round of fiscal stimulus couldn't be more dire.

BRIAN SOZZI: Sibile, you also cover politics for us. You see these layoffs, and you really get the sense that stimulus needs to be done. And in fact, it should have been done three weeks ago.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: That's right. So we know that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin met yesterday. They're expected to continue talks, but we're not hearing what we want to hear, which is basically that they've reached a deal and that they're going to be enacting financial relief. So there are supposed to be further talks going on. We know that there's some squabbling over the price tag of the financial relief. But in the meantime, we're continuing to see Americans lose their jobs every single week.

BRIAN SOZZI: Tough stuff. Sibile Marcellus, good to see you.