NYC restaurant workers crushed in coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus pandemic has put jobs of many food-industry workers in jeopardy

Across the United States restaurants are temporarily shutting their doors to eat-in diners and switching to takeout or delivery-only orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

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That measure, however, has put more than 320,000 jobs in New York City at risk.

Some bigger restaurant firms, like Union Square Hospitality Group, have rolled out contingency plans. While USHG announced it would lay off 80 percent of its staff (2,000 jobs), it will continue to cover employee premium contributions for health insurance for current enrollees through mid-April.

But that isn't the case for everyone.

Many restaurants, in addition to closing their doors, have had to lay off workers. Some, like USHG, point them to state unemployment insurance as a temporary fix until they can find new work or be rehired.

According to the Department of Labor’s benefits calculator, though, a worker who earns $39,710 annually would earn $381 per week while on unemployment, which equates to just about half of their regular wage. Data from career website ZipRecruiter puts the average annual salary for waiters in New York just under that, at $37,000.

The median rent in the Big Apple is almost $3,000, according to real estate website Zillow.

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Outside of the food industry, other businesses are feeling the impact as well. Commercial gyms and theaters throughout the city have temporarily closed or have seen a significant traffic loss.

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Thus far, there are more than 214,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide and more than 8,700 people have died in the outbreak, according to data from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.

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The Trump administration on Tuesday said it is considering sending money to Americans as the novel coronavirus takes its toll on the economy.

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