Illinois' leisure and hospitality sector remains down 223,200 jobs since February
PRESS RELEASE from the
ILLINOIS POLICY INSTITUTE
MEDIA CONTACT: Hilary Gowins (312) 607-4977
Illinois risks losing 94,200 hospitality jobs regained since April amid stricter COVID-19 restrictions
Illinois’ leisure and hospitality sector remains down 223,200 jobs since February
CHICAGO (July 23, 2020) – As Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot reimposes stricter COVID-19 restrictions on bars, restaurants, salons and fitness centers starting tomorrow, Illinois could lose all leisure and hospitality jobs regained since April if similar measures are implemented across the state. Illinois could lose 94,200 jobs under these new restrictions should they be applied statewide.
The reinstatement of lockdown measures in Chicago comes just weeks after Illinois began easing restrictions that were among the toughest in the nation and coincided with the leisure and hospitality industry being hit hardest by jobs fallout. That sector remains down 223,200 jobs since February in Illinois.
Nearly one month ago, the Illinois Restaurant Association projected 20% of food establishments would permanently close due to COVID-19 lockdown measures, meaning 5,100 Illinois food establishments could shut their doors for good. Other surveys show only 15% of restaurants are expected to survive if the pandemic lasted six months, which could mean up to 21,700 permanent restaurant closures in Illinois.
U.S. Department of Labor data show 35,938 Illinoisans filed for unemployment in the week ending July 18, bringing total new jobless claims to 1,494,670 since COVID-19 started impacting Illinois’ economy.
Orphe Divounguy, chief economist at the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute, offered the following statement:
“Chicago’s economic fallout, exacerbated by new COVID-19 restrictions, could very likely set the tone for the rest of the state. Thousands of businesses previously banking on temporary closures and a slow but steady return to normal are quickly seeing these shutdowns become permanent.
“While Illinoisans stand by to see if state leaders follow Chicago’s lead, they need to consider in the coming months how to strengthen businesses being crushed by this pandemic. Minimum wage increases and an income tax hike would only add to the growing number of businesses shutting their doors forever.”
To read more about the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Illinois jobs, visit: illin.is/covidjobless.
For bookings or interviews, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 607-4977.