Coronavirus: Bay Area businesses lay off thousands to stay afloat during pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The list of businesses laying people off to stay afloat financially grows by the day. Some of the best known names in Bay Area business have announced deep cuts to their workforce and are looking at structural changes that may mean a different jobs picture when COVID-19 cases subside.

While pursuing a career as a singer-songwriter in Southern California, Emily Stein did what a lot of aspiring artists do. She waited tables at a nightclub until she was laid off in mid-March.

"It's extremely painful," she said.

Stein lost her apartment and had to move back in with her mom in El Cerrito.

"I'm a young adult and I've been on my own since I was 17-years-old and I don't want to have to rely on other people," she said.

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But layoffs are currently a way of life under COVID-19.

Here are just a few Bay Area based companies that have announced big job cuts recently:

Uber is laying off 3,700 workers

Lyft is cutting 982 positions

Airbnb is laying off 1,900 people -- and we don't know how many local workers are affected at those three firms.

We do know that the Oakland A's are laying off nearly 800 people.

The San Francisco Giants are cutting 1,200 jobs.

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Bon Apetit Restaurant Management is laying more than 1,500 workers in San Francisco.

"I think in the short term there are going to be some sectors that are going to have trouble coming back even under the best public health response," said UC Berkeley Public Policy and Economics Professor Jesse Rothstein.

Rothstein says that includes restaurants and other small businesses.

But he says even powerhouses like Uber, who thought treating drivers as independent contractors made them less susceptible to lay-offs, are finding that's not true in this pandemic.

But experts warn that even when things quiet down, somethings may never go back to the way they were.

"Set your expectation that the return to the office is not going back to your old job," according to Randall Micek with job placement firm Robert Half.

He says there will be less travel, more working from home and even those who do work in offices will find fewer people and more social distancing.

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