One-in-five Tennessee businesses operates in an industry most likely to be affected by the coronavirus recession, according to a new report.
Based on data from 2019, that’s about 34,000 businesses across the state.
Jobs that have disappeared tend to be concentrated in the industries most affected by social distancing, including restaurants and bars, retail and manufacturing, travel and transportation, and entertainment.
Brian Straessle, external affairs director at The Sycamore Institute, said without extra assistance for unemployed Tennesseans, the state will begin to see multiple crises of hunger, eviction and mental health.
“The folks who maybe were going to have a tougher time regardless are also the more likely to be losing their job or having their hours cut,” Straessle said.
Not surprisingly, the report says counties with more workers employed in at-risk industries now have some of the highest unemployment rates. In May, the official unemployment rate reached 18.5% in Sevier County, 17.6% in Warren County, and 17.5% in Marshall County. Unemployment insurance claims across the state remain at an all-time high.
Restaurants across Tennessee continue to go out of business because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Adobe Stock)