A stunning 7,300 Covid-related layoffs in two days reported to state

Filings flood New York Department of Labor

From top: the Mondrian Oriental, Soho House and Colony Club (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)
From top: the Mondrian Oriental, Soho House and Colony Club (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)

The Mandarin Oriental. Soho House. Colony Club.

Coronavirus-related layoffs continue to pile up.

On Friday and Thursday alone, some 88 layoff notices were filed in New York, signaling that employers across the state would jettison more than 7,300 workers because of Covid-19.

The 405 so-called WARN notices filed since March 20 dwarf the total of 76 for the entire year to that point, an analysis by The Real Deal found. In those two weeks’ of notices New York companies indicated they would slash almost 28,000 jobs because of Covid-19. WARN notices are not required for employers of fewer than 50 people.

In New York City this week, hotels and retailers once again appeared to bear the brunt of the damage. Soho Club New York said it was letting go of 32 people because of coronavirus-related uncertainties. The Ludlow Hotel at 180 Ludlow Street was parting with 70. And the high-end Mandarin Oriental at 80 Columbus Circle, which closed last week, was saying goodbye to another 50 workers.

“As of March 26, in keeping with federal, state and local emergency declarations and health guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19, Mandarin Oriental, New York has taken the difficult decision to temporarily close, with an expected reopening on June 1,” the hotel wrote on its website.

Also on the list was Colony Club, the womens-only social club on Park Avenue. It is letting 60 people go.

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WARN notices, filed with the state’s Department of Labor and typically dated before their public filing, by no means represent all layoffs in the state. During the last week of March, more than 369,000 New Yorkers filed for jobless claims, up by 288,516 claims from the prior week.

The layoffs also have stretched to real estate firms. Warburg Realty, for instance, furloughed a fifth of its 25-person staff. Douglas Elliman laid off 100 employees. And women-focused co-working company The Wing slashed hundreds of jobs, Bloomberg reported.

Nationwide, claims for unemployment benefits skyrocketed to a record 6.6 million last week, doubling the prior week’s record of 3.3 million. And the country’s unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent in March from 3.5 percent the month before.

“The jump in the unemployment rate by almost a full percentage point exceeded expectations, but only points to the level of distress among many households,” said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association, in a statement.

And as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the country, the grim employment numbers figure to get worse in the weeks to come. Experts foresee fewer Americans plunking down money for homes and more siphoning it out of them.

“This weakness will result in a drop in demand for purchase mortgages, but we do expect continued strong demand for refinance loans over the next several months, given the record low level of mortgage rates,” Fratantoni added.

Write to Mary Diduch at md@therealdeal.com