Airline industry job losses will affect NYC economy, too

American Airlines and United Airlines had been warning Congress of massive layoffs if lawmakers are unable to agree to a new COVID-19 relief package. Now, the job cuts are happening. The airlines are expected to furlough more than 32,000 workers.

Economics expert Greg David, a contributor to the news site THE CITY, said this will affect New York City, as well.

"We have 31,000 people working in the airline industry here in the city," David said.

The airline industry is clearly trying to put pressure on Congress to pass a new federal aid package because the industry is dying, he added. The former federal assistance barely keeping airlines barely afloat expires Thursday.

"Do I feel scared? Do I feel angry and frustrated?" American Airlines flight attendant Allie Malis said. "There's so many emotions that are pulsing through my veins."

In the five boroughs, almost 6,000 businesses have closed because of COVID-19. Bankruptcy filings are skyrocketing with a 40% increase between March and September compared to the same time period last year.

"Even as we've kept our COVID infection rate down, our economy is on life support, especially our small business economy," Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Randy Peers said.

The Partnership for New York City is predicting that nearly a third of the city's 230,000 businesses could permanently close.

"The 6,000 that have already confirmed that have already gone out of business, I think that number is just the tip of the iceberg," Peers said.

THE CITY's David said that small businesses in the city will not recover until companies feel it is safe to bring their employees back into office buildings.

"The official forecast for New York City — we will not regain the jobs we lost in the pandemic until 2024, if then," David said.

Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. Download for FREE!