41 million jobs lost; homebound gear up to get out, way out

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Leah Hu, left, and her brother Leon demonstrate the use of robots for serving purposes or for dirty dishes collection, as part of a tryout of measures to respect social distancing and help curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at the family's Royal Palace restaurant in Renesse, south-western Netherlands, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Thursday related to the national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.


IMMOBILIZED: Job cuts in the transportation industry have arrived this week by the thousands. The auto industry has suffered a number of setbacks, including interrupted production do to infection.

— American Airlines will cut its 17,000 management and support staff by 30%, about 5,100 jobs. Layoffs may begin in October if enough employees do not take buyout offers.

— European budget carrier easyJet will cut up to a third of its workforce because of the pandemic. The airline has around 15,000 full-time employees — meaning some 4,500 jobs are at risk. The British carrier resumes limited service on June 15, but estimates that it may take three years to get back to 2019 demand levels.

— Nissan Motor Co. is closing its manufacturing plants in the northeastern Catalonia region in Spain, costing 3,000 jobs. The Industry Ministry in the financially strapped country are asking the Japanese automaker to reconsider. But auto sales globally are in retreat.

MORE TRAVELERS: The number of people passing through airport checkpoints has climbed above 250,000 for seven straight days, the first time that has happened since mid- to late-March. As numbers slowly climb, airlines are facing more scrutiny for preventing spread of the coronavirus.

— The CEO of United Airlines said Thursday that social distancing is impossible on planes and that airlines must take other measures to protect passengers. “Airplanes don’t have social distancing. We’re not going to be six feet apart,” Scott Kirby said, “but an airplane environment is incredibly safe” because of mandatory face masks, air-filtering systems and cleaning the cabins more thoroughly.