Guest Editorial: COVID-19 Job Losses Are Scary; It’s Up To Us How We React

By Recker McDowell —

The Coronavirus threatens 19.8 million jobs nationwide by July and could take the U.S. unemployment rate up to 15.6 percent, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Close to 396,000 jobs could be impacted in Arizona and the state unemployment rate could hit to 15.4 percent with layoffs, job cuts and furloughs. Arizona’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent before the pandemic. The U.S. jobless rate was 3.5 percent.

Another 6.8 million jobs could be lost in California, Texas, New York and Florida. Those numbers can stoke fear and worry. They should also be a call for immediate and aggressive action beyond the $2 trillion federal stimulus package.

Communities, regions and states all need to be putting pro-growth and pro-jobs programs in place now focused on helping adversely impacted workers, small businesses and hard hit industries.

That means top to bottom looks at taxes, fees, regulations, land-use policies and other ways to revive the economy and growth. We need ‘all of the above’ answers.

State and local leaders just cannot let the economic response come from Washington. They need to complement and enhance it.

Employers also need to keep their nerve the best they can during the Coronavirus’ impact. The fact that Small Business Administration loans and assistance can hinge on employers not cutting jobs can help.

But we need employers (small and large) to do their best to take care of their employees. They also need to realize consumers and job talent will judge how companies and brands reacted to this unprecedented pandemic.

The potential job losses are scary.

We have a choice of giving into the fear or we can come together and fight for our jobs and communities.