When the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, quarantine mandates and travel bans disrupted most industries. Five, however, stood out:
In 2020, most tourists and business travelers were restricted to their city if not their home, leading demand for hospitality and leisure offerings to collapse. In the US alone, occupancy rates have fallen to 40% for economy class hotels, though less than 15% for luxury hotels. Since then the industry has shed over 7.7 million jobs, and some observers have grave doubts that it will ever regain its footing.
Unsurprisingly, the healthcare industry has been busy since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the need for social distancing and self-isolation has led to a steep decline in elective and routine procedures, which has crimped the financial viability of many healthcare-related businesses. As a result, while the demands on infectious care has risen, other areas have languished. More than 2.5 million people in healthcare and healthcare-related businesses have lost their jobs.
Nearly every professional job has been hurt by the pandemic. Only those operations with advanced digital capabilities have been able to endure this change while legacy operations or those that have been slow to digitize have been forced to shut down or suspend activities as consumer demand. As a result, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that over 2.1 million professionals have become unemployed.
Quarantines and shutdowns have affected retail trade operations globally. Retail activity declined in all segments apart from essential goods. Overall, retail sales registered recorded an unprecedented slump in April with a fall of 16.4%, shutting down major stores and businesses across the US, the Sales of apparel and luxury goods fell by 89%. Many familiar upscale brands, including Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, and Neiman Marcus, have declared bankruptcy.
Disruption began early, in China, the epicenter of the pandemic, as shortages in labor and materials compelled manufacturers to slow down production. The ripple effect has led to a loss of over 1.3 million workers in factories all over the world.