Jun 4, 2020 - Economy

6 million white-collar jobs could be at risk in second wave of coronavirus layoffs

The legs of businessmen and shoppers walk along Madison Avenue

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Close to 6 million jobs are at risk of being lost in coming months as a second wave of coronavirus-induced layoffs is headed for the U.S., according to a new report from Bloomberg Economics.

What's happening: The job cuts are expected to include higher-paid supervisors in sectors where frontline workers have been hit first, such as restaurants and hotels. It also includes the knock-on effects to connected industries such as professional services, finance and real estate.

  • "It will get worse before it gets better — white-collar workers will now bear the brunt," said Yelena Shulyatyeva, senior U.S. economist at Bloomberg Economics.
  • "Even if states and businesses reopen, we’re likely to see this second wave of losses," since the labor market tends to lag economic activity, she said.

Don't sleep: The expectation for white-collar job losses tracks with surveys of top executives from accounting firm PwC that I wrote about in May, which found 31% of CFOs thought layoffs would occur in the next month, double the percentage who expected to lay off employees at the end of March.

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