NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne) -- A new study by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce says the pandemic will cost Metro tens-of-thousands of permanent job losses and billions of dollars in lost business.
The Chamber study out this week pegs the permanent job losses at just over 24,700 positions, assuming the city doesn’t reopen later than May 1. If Safer-at-Home continues through June 1 permanent job losses will jump to more than 28,000 positions.
The report also forecasts up to $2.4 billion in lost (Real GDP) business. Nashville residents could lose up to $1.8 billion in personal income. The Chamber says Nashville likely won’t make up the lost ground before 2022.
Statewide, the study says permanent job losses could total up to nearly 72,000 positions. Some $5.6 billion in lost (Real GDP) business is also possible. Personal income losses across the state could top out at $3.9 billion.
Speaking to the Tennessean after the study was released, Chamber President Ralph Schulz is quoted saying the worst possible outcome would be allowing the virus to rebound. Schulz said in part, “The most damaging scenario is a second wave.”
The Tennessee Department of Labor reported on Wednesday that initial unemployment claims now total some 393,000 applications statewide over the past five weeks.
Gov. Bill Lee this week announced plans to launch a restart of the state economy beginning on Monday. Restaurants and retail stores will be allowed to reopen, but will be limited to fifty-percent occupancy.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper revealed his own far more detailed but cautious plan to end Metro’s Safer-at-Home restrictions. Cooper announced a four part process for re-starting the city’s economy, but so far has not set a date for that process to begin.