The economic devastation caused in the Seattle area by the ongoing coronavirus crisis continues to add to the tally of official layoff notices lodged under the mandates of the federal WARN Act, with a total of 2,194 employees losing their jobs either temporarily or permanently so far in March, according to the filings.
Between March 15-21 alone, a total of 133,464 Washington residents filed for unemployment, according to the Employment Security Department. Nationally, 3.28 million Americans filed during the same time period, about twice as many as previously estimated. The previous record was 695,000 claims in October 1982.
“The velocity and volume of the impact of COVID-19 has created a crisis that is unprecedented in the history of the program ― going back to the 1930s when it was established,” says Washington State Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi Levine.
The following companies with operations in the Seattle area have filed WARN notices announcing either temporary or permanent layoffs exceeding 50 employees since March 4 — the day King County declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus.
- • Casual-dining chain Earl’s Restaurants USA Inc., Bellevue, 114 employees laid off permanently effective March 25.
- • Boutique-hotel operator Pineapple Hospitality Co., Seattle, 156 employees laid off temporarily effective March 15.
- • Foodservice company HMSHost, SeaTac, 354 employees laid off temporarily effective March 18.
- • Four Points by Sheraton, Des Moines, 60 employees laid off temporarily March 23.
- • Cannabis platform Leafy Holdings Inc., Seattle, 71 employees laid off permanently effective March 23.
- • Boat-builder Westport LLC, Westport/Port Angeles/Seattle, 335 employees laid off permanently effective March 23.
- • Edgewater Hotel, Seattle, 227 employees laid off temporarily effective March 22.
- • Service Linen, Renton, 106 employees laid off temporarily effective March 20.
- • Harbor Foodservice of Seattle LLC, Kent, 200 employees laid off temporarily effective March 22.
- • Real estate company Onni Properties LLC, Seattle, seven employees laid off permanently effective March 31.
Previously reported layoff notices include the following:
- • Schwartz Bros. Restaurants, 297 employees temporarily laid off, effective March 11. The popular Seattle dining chain operates four Daniel’s Broiler restaurants — and Schwartz Bros. Bakery — and has about 500 total employees
- • The Crowne Plaza hotel company in Seattle, 70 workers laid off temporarily effective March 19.
- • Compass Airlines LLC, Seattle, 197 workers permanently laid off effective May 1, 2020. Compass is a regional carrier based in Minneapolis that flies smaller planes for American and Delta airlines, which have drastically scaled back flights in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
Far more companies are likely to file WARN Act notices in the coming weeks based on the known data about business closures in the area. Under the WARN Act, employers with 100 or more workers must provide written notice to the Washington’s Employment Security Department and the top elected official in the community when a layoff or closure is occurring.