The pandemic has cratered the economy all across the country, but nowhere was the devastation felt more acutely than in Atlantic County; according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, no comparably sized county in the country lost a bigger percentage of its jobs. Between June 2019 and June 2020, Atlantic County lost 34.2% of its jobs. Obviously, Atlantic County is home to Atlantic City, and with its casinos, hotels, and convention centers empty due to the coronavirus shutdowns, suffered greatly.
AC’s casinos were closed from March until July and even after they opened they were subject to reduced capacity. Sports and online betting has helped cushion the losses with revenue from that segment increasing 106% in October, but in person gambling in AC for that same month was down 8% and the online and sports betting don’t employ as many people.
Deborah Figart, a professor at Stockton University told the Press of Atlantic City, the economic crisis, of course, is due to the public health crisis. The only way out is to control the coronavirus. With successful vaccines, Wall Street may recover first on the good news, with Main Street to follow once we are able to assemble again safely face to face.”
Even with the recent spike in coronavirus cases, Governor Murphy has not indicated that he has plans to shut down the casinos again, although they are subject to the 10 p.m. curfew for their bars and restaurants.
Maui, Hawaii had the second largest drop nationally, losing 33% of its jobs.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle’s own.