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Job Cuts Hit 2 Members Of My Family In Orlando: No Tourists, No Work

Two weeks after Perla Pimentel was laid off, her father lost his job as a transportation contractor for Disney World. And the warehouse where her mom works has begun to furlough employees.
Courtesy of Perla Pimentel
Two weeks after Perla Pimentel was laid off, her father lost his job as a transportation contractor for Disney World. And the warehouse where her mom works has begun to furlough employees.

Perla Pimentel lives in Orlando, Fla., home to Disney World and other popular resorts. She was an event coordinator who suddenly found herself with no events to coordinate in March. The tourist mecca has been especially hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

"We could tell that the company was hurting because we were watching all of our clients cancel," she says. "You don't really expect it to happen to you."

Her employers said they would be happy to rehire her when business picks up again. "But I can't count on when that would happen," she says. "I've got bills to pay ... student loans."

For Pimentel, the layoffs are a family affair. Two weeks after she was laid off, Pimentel's father lost his job as a transportation contractor for Disney World. The warehouse where her mom works has begun to furlough employees.

"A few days a week they are sending her home early. She's getting a little worried," Pimentel says.

For now, only her brother has a dependable paycheck.

"My brother actually works as a pizza delivery person," Pimentel said. "He's doing pretty well, as you can imagine. A lot of people are ordering out."

Read more stories in Faces Of The Coronavirus Recession.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Horsley is NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent. He reports on ups and downs in the national economy as well as fault lines between booming and busting communities.
Alina Selyukh is a business correspondent at NPR, where she follows the path of the retail and tech industries, tracking how America's biggest companies are influencing the way we spend our time, money, and energy.

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