Hospitality, Retail, Leisure Hard Hit by Layoffs in Silicon Valley

State unemployment data shows that Silicon Valley hospitality, retail and leisure companies are among the most likely to have laid off or furloughed massive numbers of employees in the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mass layoff data, published by the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD), shows companies that have laid off—temporarily or permanently—a large number of workers at one time. Companies must file the disclosures under California’s WARN Act.

As could be expected, the number of reports filed in recent months has skyrocketed. For instance, on April 13, Tesla temporarily laid off 11,083 workers in Alameda County—the largest single action in March and April, according to the state data.

Although the WARN reports do not capture all layoffs within California, the filings offer a snapshot of which industries and companies have been hardest hit by the crisis. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the largest single group of California workers losing their jobs are those working in the hospitality and leisure industries.

Between February and March, the hospitality industry statewide laid off 67,200 workers, according to figures published by the EDD.

The WARN Act data shows 544,000 workers were affected by mass layoffs across the state from March and April. That includes 26,775 workers permanently or temporarily laid off in Santa Clara County from March through May.

Hotels, restaurants, gyms and retail are among the largest employers to lay people off in the South Bay. Darden Restaurants, which owns the Olive Garden, furloughed more than 500 workers in March. Hotel De Anza let go of 57 employees.

Hayes Mansion in San Jose temporarily let go of a couple dozen workers, while Team San Jose—the city’s tourism bureau—sent more than 1,200 employees home until business picks up again. Meanwhile, the San Jose Improv temporarily laid off 62 people.

San Jose-based cloud computing firm Nutanix filed the single-largest layoff notice, telling EDD it would temporarily furlough more than 1,400 workers in April.


  1. Restaurants are done in San Jose. They are never going to let you open up in time to get your business back.

  2. More and more small businesses have packed it in and given the keys back to the landlord. Even though there is a personal guarantee in some leases, the simple fact of the matter is that I can’t use the property for it’s intended purpose. As a result, the few small businesses buildings left in downtown San Jose will be sold to Google.

  3. Will Sara Cody be held accountable for the destruction she is causing? Why does one woman have so much power? Why aren’t elected officials allowing this to happen? She is singlehandedly destroying our local economy.

  4. Thanks to all our politicians for leading us down the path of total economic collapse! Meanwhile we’re the idiots letting them take charge!

  5. Santa Clara County; “Sara Cody’s authoritarian hellhole where barbers are a threat to society and haircuts are a crime.”

    Just wondering, what, if anything, is the mighty Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors doing about the situation?

    Didn’t I hear doing the last election how much “leadership” these buzzards were going to provide?

    The BOS seems to be doing NOTHING today BUT “social distancing”. They are so good at “social distancing” that no one can find them.

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