Employers in the Baltimore area have stepped up the pace and number of job cuts, with hotels, fitness studios and movie theaters reporting hundreds of layoffs in the first few days of April alone.
As state-ordered business shutdowns continue during the new coronavirus pandemic, Maryland labor officials have been notified of an increasing number of layoffs.
The Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore, Embassy Suites Inner Harbor Hotel and Cinemark movie theaters in Towson and Hanover are among those reporting layoffs to the Maryland Department of Labor since April 1.
The bulk of the job losses have piled up quickly in the service industry, at restaurants, hotels and stores.
“I imagine the numbers will get worse before they get better,” said Daraius Irani, chief economist for the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson University “This is one of those extraordinary circumstances we’ve never experienced on this grand scale. We’re asked all the world economies to shut down and restart.”
On Thursday, luxury hotel Four Seasons in Harbor East, east of Baltimore’s downtown, reported that it laid off 169 people as of March 23.
CorePower Yoga on Wednesday reported 193 layoffs at five Maryland studios, including four in Baltimore, which took effect March 30. Cinemark announced 236 layoffs in Towson and Hanover on Wednesday, which took effect March 27th.
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Other hotels that reported layoffs in April include Embassy Suites Inner Harbor Hotel on St. Paul Place, Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott, both in Salisbury, and Hampton Inn & Suites in Annapolis.
“It’s a really rough patch we’re entering into,” Irani said. “The good news is this was not an asset bubble or people nervous about their wealth. Once we get past this, we should start to climb back to normal."