By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Many businesses and government agencies are operating on this year’s budget and they have been able to retain employees. But come the next budget year, job cuts might be in order.

Dr. Ned Murray, with the FIU Metropolitan Center, said, “260,000 jobs have been lost in Miami-Dade alone. Since March, 266,000.”

Murray said we are only now beginning to see and feel the coronavirus economic impact.

“We are starting to see it in cross sections right now. The professional sector among sole proprietor, so called gig workers, see it in finance,” he said.

Major employers like American Airlines are cutting employees. Art and museum venues closed leaving professionals out of jobs. The same for web-based operations.

“The job shedding continues and it is across sectors,” Murray said.

According to a survey by Yelp, 2,991 businesses have closed in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area between March 1 and July 10. Laid off workers are skipping car payments, not paying rent and not paying mortgages.

“That takes us into a much deeper recession than we are already experiencing,” Murray said.

And that leads to a domino effect.

For example, a condo developer who wants to expand and create construction jobs, his renters are not paying. The developer then can’t make his mortgage and can’t get a construction loan.

“If construction gets hurt, that impacts finance, impacts real estate, so it really is quite concerning,” Murray said.

There’s a glimmer of good news. The construction sector added 4,500 jobs in June. That said, it was operating on existing financing.

Dr. Murray said recovery won’t come until possibly spring of 2021.

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