Disney to Furlough Non-Essential Employees Beginning April 19

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, The Walt Disney Co. will start furloughing non-essential U.S. employees April 19, the company announced.

Disney committed to full pay and benefits for all employees through April 18.

“With no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses, we’re forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time,” a Disney representative said in a statement.

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Furloughed workers will remain Disney employees through the furlough period and will receive full healthcare benefits with Disney will paying the cost of premiums.

Disney did not report the number of employees that would be affected.

Fed: Employers Cut 701,000 Jobs in March

As expected, total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 701,000 in March, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.4%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported April 3. It was the first jobs decline in nearly a decade.

The unemployment rate increased by 0.9 percentage point, the largest over-the-month increase in the rate since January 1975, when
the increase was also 0.9 percentage point. The number of unemployed persons rose by 1.4 million to 7.1 million in March.

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The data, which is based on employer surveys, reportedly does not factor in the previous two-week period in which nearly 10 million people filed for unemployment.

The government attributed the decline in jobs and increased unemployment to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and efforts to contain it.

Employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 459,000, mainly in food services and drinking places. Notable declines also occurred in health care and social assistance, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction.

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Amazon Launches ‘Storefronts’ Small Retailer Platform

Borrowing a page from its Amazon Channels third-party over-the-top video service platform, Amazon Sept. 17 announced the launch of Storefronts – a platform giving Prime members attention to more than 20,000 small and medium-sized retailers selling on Amazon.

While many of these businesses currently participate as Amazon third-party sellers, the Storefronts platform pledges to give them added exposure through national marketing and online videos.

Amazon first began using third-party sellers nearly two decades ago, and today, small and medium-sized businesses. To support the launch of the new store, Amazon is unveiling its first-ever national TV commercial featuring third-party businesses that sell on Amazon.

With more than a million small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. selling on Amazon, the ad gives consumers a glimpse into a real business on Amazon and how Amazon is actually a ‘big collection of small’ businesses. The spot shows how Amazon helps businesses get their products to customers all over the world.

“Since we started selling on Amazon in October 2016, our sales have nearly doubled,” said Holly Rutt, co-founder of Little Flower Soap Co., the Chelsea, Michigan business owner featured in the national TV ad.

“Due to our success, we have been able to hire new team members from our community, including full and part time jobs. We believe that customers like to know the story behind what they’re buying. When there is worry about creating jobs, it’s reassuring for customers to know their purchases are helping sustain jobs in the U.S.,” Rutt said.

Earlier this year, Amazon said small and medium-sized businesses selling on the ecommerce platform are estimated to have created more than 900,000 jobs worldwide. In 2017, more than 300,000 U.S.-based small and medium-sized businesses started selling on Amazon.