With the pandemic still raging and U.S. lawmakers having failed so far to reach an agreement on extending federal relief for the unemployed and small businesses, many key measures in the world’s largest economy look set to remain weak for some time. While the first wave of job cuts hit service workers the hardest — in industries such as restaurants and entertainment — economists see other higher-paid positions at increasing risk of layoffs as the recovery grinds slowly forward.
Particularly hard hit are also companies reliant on travel and tourism, including Disney. American Airlines has warned that it could furlough 19,000 employees, while United Airlines is planning to cut about 12,000.
There are signs, however, that the labor market is gradually improving in certain areas as demand rises from the depths of the pandemic. U.S. companies added 749,000 jobs in September, according to ADP Research Institute data released Wednesday. ADP’s numbers, though, have diverged widely from official government figures in recent months.