Disney employees in California and Florida got the bad news yesterday that they are losing their jobs. Disney has blamed the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting closures and limits on their operations as the reason for the layoffs. According to various news sources, the company is terminating 28,000 employees. Almost 7,000 in Florida are on the layoff list.
The layoffs represent about a quarter of the employee roster at Disney’s parks.
They are also one of the worst layoffs since Covid-19 started to wreak havoc on the economy.
The economic recovery that many were hoping for has now become an illusion. Without a vaccine for the pandemic virus, many consumers remain fearful of being among crowds. The lack of crowds hurts the bottom line for the entertainment industry.
Disney is proof of this.
But even an economic recovery may not translate to employees in the services industries returning to work. Because of the months of shutdowns, many companies have started looking at technology to lower labor costs. Disney is one of them.
Disney has been adopting technology to reduce their employee needs. Guests can access park services electronically without needing a Disney employee to help them. Online payment systems and digital restaurant menus as well as online scheduling also reduce the need for employees.
Much like the grocery store checkout kiosks, many service industries are letting the consumers do the work thereby reducing the need for employees on the payroll.
Even the eradication of Covid-19 may not be enough to bring back the workers that previously filled the payroll in many service industries.