LONG ISLAND - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone along with his Nassau County counterpart Laura Curran revealed results of a bi-county study on COVID-19’s economic impact on Thursday. The findings: Long Island shed jobs faster than New York City and any other suburban county in the state.
“Three words: Federal Disaster Assistance,” said Bellone, who, like Curran, is calling on Congress to give Long Islanders financial relief.
The report also revealed the industry sectors with the most job losses on Long Island include: hospitality, healthcare, retail, and construction.
The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, as more than 1.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. The solution according to officials - significant financial relief to counties to jumpstart the regional economy.
“This report emphasizes that we can not recover all by ourselves,” Curran said. “Washington needs to step in.”
Low-wage workers, those with a high school diploma or less, and minorities have been the most affected by layoffs according to the study because oftentimes they work in the hardest-hit industries. At the height of the pandemic, the Hilton Long Island furloughed half of its staff as they were only 7-10 percent occupied.
“We need to get things opened again and I know we’re in Phase 4 in Suffolk but people need to have that comfort zone as far as coming back and to gather,” said Gus Montesantos, general manager of Hilton Long Island.