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Disney will increase layoffs to 32,000 employees as coronavirus battles its theme park enterprise

An employee cleans the grounds behind the closed gates of Disneyland Park on the first day of the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks closure in Anaheim, California on March 14, 2020.

DAVID MCNEW | AFP | Getty Images

Disney expands its layoffs to around 32,000 workers as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the theme park industry.

In an SEC filing released on Wednesday, the company announced that thousands of employees will be quitting their jobs during the first half of fiscal 2021. The majority of these layoffs will come from the Parks, Experiences and Products division and include the company's 28,000 employees previously announced in September.

Extended closings at Disney's California-based theme parks and restricted participation in the open parks have forced the company to downsize its workforce. In addition, as of October 3, around 37,000 employees who were not expected to be laid off were put on vacation.

As of October 3, Disney had approximately 203,000 employees. The global workforce consisted of around 80% full-time employees and 20% part-time employees. Around 155,000 of the total workforce work in the parks, experiences and products segment.

This department includes all of Disney's national and international theme parks as well as the resorts, cruise lines and merchandising.

Earlier this month, Disney announced that the Covid-19 outbreak cost the parks, experiences and products segment approximately $ 2.4 billion in operating losses in the fourth quarter of fiscal year. Revenue in this segment decreased 61% to $ 2.6 billion.

In the second quarter of fiscal year, the company had reported it had lost $ 1 billion in operating income due to the pandemic, and in the third quarter of fiscal year the pandemic reduced operating income by $ 3.5 billion.

All California theme parks will remain closed as state guidelines prohibit reopening until the counties' coronavirus cases drop below 1 per 100,000 – a goal that will be difficult to achieve as cases rise across the country.

As of Wednesday, Orange County, where Disneyland's two California parks are located, has 20.2 cases per 100,000 residents.

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