March 20, 2020

AWB survey: 81% of employers affected by coronavirus

By: Brian Mittge   Comments: 0
A new survey of Washington employers finds that 81% of respondents have been negatively impacted by COVID-19-related issues. 

The survey of 794 Washington employers was conducted this week by the Association of Washington Business. It found that the greatest impact has been reduced revenue (80%), followed by reduced hours of operation (44%) and delayed hiring (37%).  

More than half of the respondents (53%) have made staffing adjustments to respond to the situation. One respondent reported already laying off 80% of the company's staff. Another reported digging into personal savings and line of credit.

Nearly half (47%) of all manufacturing companies reported supply chain disruptions and 80% have implemented changes in operations due to the coronavirus outbreak.Even among the 20% without changes so far, 59% anticipate changes in the next six months. 

"It's such a day-to-day change, its hard to predict," one respondent wrote. "We are loaning employees money to help pay bills."

Another change is planning for various sales reduction scenarios, ranging from 25 % reduced production to 100%, to plan for surviving.

"We will get through this but we ALL have to make sacrifices. I will protect my team and keep them gainfully employed for as long as I can," another respondent wrote.

The changes that respondents have implemented, or are planning, include:

  • Layoffs, expense reduction and inventory manipulations
  • Making minimum payment only on debts
  • Considering the state's Shared Work program
  • Taking steps to delay bills as possible.

Of all respondents, a third have 10 or fewer employees; another 23% have 11-25 employees; 15% have 26-50 employees, and the remainder have more than 50 employees. Twenty-six of respondents are in a services or professional industry. Eighteen percent are manufacturers; 11% are in construction; 11% are retail; the remaining 34% are with various other trades.

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