Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Rockville hit by more coronavirus layoffs as lockdown continues

More Montgomery County employers are laying off workers as the coronavirus pandemic lockdown continues. In Bethesda, Uncle Julio's announced on Friday it will lay off 50 employees. Paper Source up the street is laying off 15 workers. And the Hyatt Regency Bethesda has just laid off 95 employees.

Rockville's Cambria Suites Hotel is laying off 25 people. That hits particularly close to home, as parent company Choice Hotels' world headquarters is diagonally across the street from the Cambria Suites. Also in Rockville, Miller's Ale House is laying off 74 employees.

Gaithersburg's new upscale movie theater, Cinepolis, is being hit as hard as every other shuttered cineplex as new Hollywood releases continue to be postponed. They have finally laid off 65 employees. And the Holiday Inn in Gaithersburg just laid off 57 team members.

With Covid-19 going nowhere, and with no solid medical evidence that surviving the virus gives a patient permanent or even temporary immunity, we're likely going to face continued economic pain for at least the next two years. Montgomery County's already-moribund, last-in-the-region economy is particularly hard hit, because the vast majority of what few jobs have been created here recently are in the restaurant and retail sectors.

Workers are smart enough to realize that they may want to move into sectors that won't be interrupted by this and future pandemics, or at least ones where they can be among those privileged to work from home. Expect a re-calibration of the labor market in that event, which will drive up wages for service jobs, and increase the pain further for our already-struggling restaurant and retail sectors.

Image via Federal Trade Commission

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