Disney increases layoffs to 32,000 workers by March 2021

The coronavirus pandemic continues to hurt businesses across the world and Disney is no exception. On Wednesday, Disney provided an update on the company's finances and it says it plans to let thousands of workers go in 2021.

According to Disney's Form 10-K that was filed to the U.S. government, the company said it plans to terminate about 32,000 employees, primarily from the "Park, Experiences and Products" departments during the first half of the 2021 fiscal year.

Back in September, Disney announced it would lay off 28,000 workers. A spokesperson with Disney told FOX 11 in Los Angeles that the new figure (32,000 projected layoffs) includes the previously announced park layoffs (28,000 projected layoffs).

"During fiscal 2020 and continuing into fiscal 2021, the world has been, and continues to be, impacted by COVID-19. COVID-19 and measures to prevent its spread impacted our segments in a number of ways, most significantly at Parks, Experiences and Products where our theme parks were closed or operating at significantly reduced capacity for a significant portion of the year, cruise ship sailings and guided tours were suspended since late in the second quarter and retail stores were closed for a significant portion of the year."

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FOX 35 spoke to Economist Sean Snaith about the layoffs.

“We already have thousands of workers that are laid-off, here in Orlando,” said Sean Snaith, Director of the Institute for Economic Forecasting, University of Central Florida (UCF). “There’s no indication, what the breakdown is of who the newly-announced layoffs will impact."

He hopes none are from Disney World, adding that "one more is too much to add to that list of people, who by in large are from lower-income households, They’re really taking the brunt of this."

Snaith said the additional layoffs are likely caused "as new data comes in. Companies have to make adjustments in light of that."

“At least in the short run, or they’re not improving as quickly as they had anticipated,” he added. “They made those moves early on, I’m sure based on some assumptions and prediction of where things would be going over the next few months. And when those predictions didn’t pan out, as the data came in, then they needed to revisit.”

RELATED: Disney World to bring back park hopping starting January 1

While things are slowly getting back to normal at Walt Disney World in Orlando, that’s not the case for Disney’s other operations.

Disneyland in California is still closed, Disney Cruise Lines are anchored, production of Disney films has slowed to a near stop, stage shows have gone dark, and sporting events were also benched for much of the year.

“A lot of their business segments, really depend on gatherings of large crowds, you know whether it’s in movie theaters, or theme parks or sporting events and so all of these have taken a hit,” Snaith explained.

The layoffs are expected in the first half of 2021. Click here to read Disney's Form 10-K.

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