Workers have lost out on nearly $9,000 in income due to coronavirus lockdown (so far)

In total, $1.3 trillion in income has been erased due to the pandemic, research published by the Society for Human Resource Management and Oxford Economics found

Even though businesses in states like Texas and Florida have reopened, employees are likely taking a pay cut. That combined with furloughs as well as permanent layoffs translate to an estimated $1.3 trillion lost income for U.S. workers.


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Whether or not you’re one of the nearly 36 million Americans who have lost their jobs in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, your income has most likely taken a hit.

In total, U.S. workers have lost $1.3 trillion in income, amounting to an average loss of nearly $8,900 per worker, according to research published by the Society for Human Resource Management and Oxford Economics this week.

Approximately 20% of the loss, or $260 billion, represents workers who remained employed. These workers either accepted a lower pay or reduced hours, the biweekly COVID-19 Business Index report, which surveyed roughly 1,000 U.S. human resources professionals found.

That suggests that “job-losses alone are an incomplete account of COVID-19’s impact on workers,” the report states.

“This isn’t just some abstract number: We’re talking about lives and livelihoods,” said Johnny Taylor Jr., CEO of SHRM. “This is our reality — and it underscores the urgency with which we must move to safely reopen and return to work.”

In late April, some states began to lift their stay-at-home orders which allowed restaurants and other businesses to reopen at a significantly reduced capacity. More states including California, the most populous state in the country, also began lifting some restrictions in May.

Some states like Texas saw a spike in coronavirus cases since doing so. It’s not clear whether the increase in cases is due to the reopening or simply because of increased rates of testing for the virus, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted last week.

For the 36 million Americans who have lost their jobs, half are likely to accept 16% lower pay once they land a new job, according to research conducted by the Urban Institute, a progressive think-tank based in Washington, D.C., in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

That percentage increases with age. For workers between the ages of 50 to 61 on average are likely to accept a 23% pay cut upon reemployment, compared to 11% for workers 25 to 34 years old.

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