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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Restaurant and retail workers who can't do their jobs remotely were the first to lose their incomes to the pandemic — and, for many of them, those temporary hardships will turn into lasting ones.

By the numbers: Economists at the University of Chicago project that 42% of the layoffs from the pandemic will be permanent.

  • A huge number of retailers and restaurants — especially boutiques and smaller chains — have already closed for good, unable to weather the crisis. And more will follow before the pandemic is over.
  • Even bigger chains like Macy's and Gap might not bring back all of the hundreds of thousands of workers they let go in March, experts tell Axios.
  • And the process of recalling furloughed workers will be gradual. As states start to reopen, stores and eateries will likely operate at lower capacities and only hire back a portion of staff.

The bottom line: The silver lining in last week's jobs report — the worst in U.S. history, with 20.5 million jobs shed in April — was that around 18 million of those lost jobs were just temporary layoffs. But the outlook could turn worse in the coming weeks and months.

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
Aug 18, 2020 - Economy & Business

Coronavirus brings a wave of early retirements

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images.

The coronavirus is already triggering early retirements. That's bad news for the American economy, experts say.

Why it matters: "It’s a missed opportunity if people are being forced to retire early," London Business School's Scott says. "There's a big impact on their lifetime earnings and a big impact on lifetime expenditures. And that has macroeconomic consequences."

29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

2 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.