Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY DAVID ROEDER, BUSI­NESS & LA­BOR RE­PORTER droeder@sun­times.com | @Roed­erDavid

Illi­nois em­ploy­ers in June no­ti­fied the state of lay­offs in­volv­ing 15,600 peo­ple, the high­est monthly to­tal since the start of the coronaviru­s.

Dom­i­nat­ing the list of job cuts were ho­tels, casi­nos, restau­rants and cater­ers, all ar­eas hit hard when the pan­demic took hold in the Chicago area dur­ing March. The lay­off no­tices are sup­posed to come at least 60 days in ad­vance of any cuts, but many em­ploy­ers ap­peared to be play­ing catch-up, list­ing re­duc­tions that they said be­gan in March. Many de­scribed the lay­offs as tem­po­rary.

Prom­i­nent on the list was the Hy­att ho­tel chain, run by the Pritzker fam­ily, which de­tailed lay­offs for its Hy­att Re­gency ho­tels down­town, at McCormick Place and at O’Hare Air­port. Among the many other ho­tel chains cut­ting jobs here were Re­nais­sance, Mar­riott, Westin and Hil­ton.

The Hol­ly­wood casi­nos in Joliet and Aurora re­ported lay­offs, as did Ar­gosy Casino in Alton.

The largest lay­off at a sin­gle lo­ca­tion was 990 at SMG Food & Bev­er­age, lo­cated near McCormick Place and with a busi­ness that de­pends on con­ven­tions, which have been shut down. SMG told state of­fi­cials the lay­offs would be tem­po­rary.

Units of Levy Pre­mium Food­ser­vice, whose clients in­clude the United Cen­ter and Guar­an­teed Rate Field, re­ported cut­backs in­volv­ing nearly 1,700 em­ploy­ees. It said most would stay on with a 50% re­duc­tion in hours.

The restau­rant and per­for­mance space City Win­ery said it is cut­ting 166 em­ploy­ees, and Mike Ditka’s Chicago restau­rant, which has closed, re­ported lay­ing off 70 peo­ple.

The need for cut­backs spread to ex­clu­sive op­er­a­tions such as the Union League Club of Chicago, which laid off 175, and the Univer­sity Club of Chicago, which laid off 78.

The Broad­way in Chicago op­er­a­tion, which books and pro­motes shows here, said it was cut­ting 215 peo­ple tem­po­rar­ily for a pe­riod that may ex­tend be­yond six months.

Called WARN no­tices be­cause they are re­quired by the Illi­nois Worker Ad­just­ment and Re­train­ing No­ti­fi­ca­tion Act, the ad­vi­sories are pro­vided to the Illi­nois Depart­ment of Com­merce and Eco­nomic Op­por­tu­nity. The agency pub­licly posts them monthly.

State of­fi­cials said the to­tals from the WARN re­ports do not nec­es­sar­ily in­di­cate a wors­en­ing eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion, as they are a snap­shot of com­pany no­tices from a sin­gle month and some of the lay­offs oc­curred ear­lier. The statewide un­em­ploy­ment rate was 15.2% in May, com­pared with 17.2% in April. June’s re­sult is due to be is­sued July 17.

DCEO also said it has em­ployed “rapid re­sponse teams” to con­nect dis­lo­cated work­ers with the re­sources they need, hav­ing part­nered with more than 290 com­pa­nies re­port­ing more than 43,000 lay­offs since March.


The coronaviru­s-re­lated shut­down of ac­tiv­ity at McCormick Place has forced ho­tels, restau­rants and cater­ers to re­port lay­offs.

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