State unemployment data shows that Silicon Valley hospitality, retail and leisure companies are among the most likely to have laid off or furloughed massive numbers of employees in the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mass layoff data, published by the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD), shows companies that have laid off—temporarily or permanently—a large number of workers at one time. Companies must file the disclosures under California’s WARN Act.
As could be expected, the number of reports filed in recent months has skyrocketed. For instance, on April 13, Tesla temporarily laid off 11,083 workers in Alameda County—the largest single action in March and April, according to the state data.
Although the WARN reports do not capture all layoffs within California, the filings offer a snapshot of which industries and companies have been hardest hit by the crisis. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the largest single group of California workers losing their jobs are those working in the hospitality and leisure industries.
Between February and March, the hospitality industry statewide laid off 67,200 workers, according to figures published by the EDD.
The WARN Act data shows 544,000 workers were affected by mass layoffs across the state from March and April. That includes 26,775 workers permanently or temporarily laid off in Santa Clara County from March through May.
Hotels, restaurants, gyms and retail are among the largest employers to lay people off in the South Bay. Darden Restaurants, which owns the Olive Garden, furloughed more than 500 workers in March. Hotel De Anza let go of 57 employees.
Hayes Mansion in San Jose temporarily let go of a couple dozen workers, while Team San Jose—the city’s tourism bureau—sent more than 1,200 employees home until business picks up again. Meanwhile, the San Jose Improv temporarily laid off 62 people.
San Jose-based cloud computing firm Nutanix filed the single-largest layoff notice, telling EDD it would temporarily furlough more than 1,400 workers in April.