Expert Pitch
Florida State University

FSU Experts ready to provide perspective on unprecedented unemployment

9-Apr-2020 2:50 PM EDT, by Florida State University

By: Mark Blackwell Thomas | Published: | 2:35 pm 

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic grows, the U.S. labor market has been especially hard hit. With an estimated 30 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits since mid-March, the rate of job loss in the nation is unprecedented.    

As the recent bankruptcy by major retailer J. Crew illustrates, millions of newly unemployed Americans are  wondering if their jobs are ever coming back. With the broader implications of such widespread job losses now coming into view, Florida State University faculty are ready to lend their expertise and perspective to provide clarity and context on this uncertainty.

David King, Higdon Associate Professor of Management

King’s areas of expertise include mergers and acquisitions, corporate entrepreneurship, government policy, integration and performance and technology transfer.  

The slowdown in economic activity will likely accelerate as firms reduce expenses to conserve cash. This increases the chances that the inevitable recovery will not be V-shaped, or it will take time — years vs. months.  Traditionally safe government jobs will also be impacted as the slowdown in economic activity will lower tax receipts over more than one budget year. Florida is likely to be hit particularly hard due to roughly 15 percent of jobs relying on tourism, as well as hotel and sales tax revenue for local and state government. How this shakes out in the longer term is a real unknown.  

Nathaniel Line, associate professor, Dedman School of Hospitality

Line’s research experience includes demand shocks in the lodging industry and marketing environment, hospitality and tourism management and hospitality marketing.

The impact of COVID-19 on employment in the hospitality industry will ultimately depend on the extent and duration of the outbreak. The good news is that the hospitality industry is resilient, and many are hopeful that the federal stimulus measures will be enough to help keep most organizations viable until the stay at home orders are lifted and people can get back to work. 


Luke Hopkins, assistant department chair, marketing

Hopkins areas of expertise include services marketing, social media marketing and marketing research. 

Given the complex, multifaceted nature of the retail industry, forecasting how the coronavirus will impact the labor situation is no easy task. For example, Amazon’s announcement of their intentions to hire 100,000 workers to match increased demand is in stark contrast to the unprecedented number of frontline retail employee layoffs that have plagued many other retailers. While essential businesses are working hard to fill positions that are customer-facing (i.e., sales associates and delivery drivers), the greatest need appears to be in jobs that can be done remotely and those positions that support e-commerce. 

 

 

Darren Brooks, assistant department chair, associate lecturer and director of the Center for Human Resource Management 

Brooks is an expert in change management, learning systems and human resources. 

As jobless claims continue to rise and the economic recovery timeframe remains uncertain, organizations will continually adjust their hiring process and use of technology to help. The labor market is being severely impacted in many areas of the economy. In the coming months, we will see increased competition for fewer jobs and firms increasing their utilization of technology to support their recruitment and onboarding needs. 

 

Scott Maynard, Program Director for Employer Relations, The Career Center at FSU  

Maynard has 31 years of experience in career services, experiential education and workforce development. 

These are challenging times for everyone, especially for those who were displaced or laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finding work in this time can be even more challenging in an online environment. Many are asking what the future holds, and right now, we don’t know the answer, but we can prepare. Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are current. Stay up to date on the latest trends and continually review a variety of job sites to see where the demand is. Utilize online resources and classes to develop new skills, certificates or badges that set you apart from others. 

 

Wayne Hochwarter, Jim Moran Professor of Management

Hochwarter has published over 100 scientific and applied articles covering a wide range of topics including employee entitlement, worker engagement, job stress, layoffs, workplace politics, abusive work behaviors, personal accountability, optimism and leadership-focused motivation strategies. 



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