Big names such as Best Buy, Disney and Quest Diagnostics are among US companies laying off or furloughing most workers due to the COVID-19 crisis.

As the U.S. grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, economic projections continue to spell an increasingly dire impact on the nation's economy. As of Friday, April 24, about 883,000 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed, by far the most of any country. The virus has quickly become the nation's most common cause of death. In the last seven days, more than 14,200 people in the U.S. died from COVID-19, more than average weekly deaths from cancer, heart disease, or car crashes.

In the 12 months through February, just before the pandemic hit the U.S., employment growth averaged nearly 200,000 jobs per month. In March, amid the rapid spread of the disease and efforts to contain the virus, nationwide non-farm employment fell by 701,000. A majority of these March job losses were in food service and drinking establishments. Here are U.S. industries being devastated by the coronavirus.

Americans across the nation continue to lose their jobs. According to Department of Labor statistics, more than 26 million American workers filed for unemployment t in the past five weeks. Here are every state's unemployment claims since COVID-19 shut the economy down.

Coronavirus crisis: People struggling to pay bills now could get hit again starting in June

Your money questions answered: Will workers return to jobs paying less than coronavirus benefits?

For the week ending April 4, approximately 8.2%, or about 12 million members of the U.S. labor force, were receiving unemployment insurance. This is the highest level ever recorded since records began in 1967, surpassing the next highest level of 7.0% in May 1975. 

While several of the largest U.S. companies – including Walmart, CVS, Amazon, and Walgreens – are actually hiring, Americans working at some of the largest and most famous U.S. companies have been slammed by furloughs and layoffs. 

24/7 Wall St. reviewed news reports and company financial documents to identify 21 of the country's famous businesses furloughing the most workers. We concentrated on the most recognizable businesses in industries hit hardest by the pandemic. In many cases, the number of furloughed employees are estimates. 

21. TravelCenters of America

• No. of furloughed employees: 3,022

• Industry: Travel centers

• Date announced: April 17, 2020

TravelCenters of America is one of the nation's largest full-service travel centers, offering fuel, restaurants, and shopping to motorists and truckers in hundreds of locations across North America. As the trucking industry has slowed and restaurants closed, the company said it would furlough 2,900 associates and 122 people working in the corporate offices.

20. Quest Diagnostics

• No. of furloughed employees: 4,000

• Industry: Diagnostic testing

• Date announced: April 14, 2020

Medical diagnostic testing company Quest announced plans to furlough some 4,000 employees. The company announced the temporary layoffs despite ranking among the top commercial testers for the coronavirus. But while coronavirus tests have surged, Quest's overall testing volume has cratered by 40% in the second half of March. Employees who have not been temporarily laid off will take a pay cut.

19. General Motors

• No. of furloughed employees: 6,500

• Industry: Automotive

• Date announced: March 26, 2020

New vehicle sales are projected to decline by 26.6% in the United States this year. Responding to this precipitous drop in demand, automakers are reducing production. In light of this new reality, automakers have also been cutting employees. GM announced plans in late March to furlough some 6,500 salaried employees. While on leave, these workers will receive 75% of their normal pay.

18. Under Armour

• No. of furloughed employees: 6,700

• Industry: Retail – Apparel

• Date announced: April 3, 2020

The Baltimore-based athletic apparel company announced on April 3 that it would temporarily lay off approximately 6,700 employees due to declining sales. In addition to the more than 6,000 employees who work in Under Armour stores in the U.S. – all of which have been closed since March 16 – about 600 distribution center workers were furloughed. Eligible employees will receive health benefits for about two months during this time.

17. Tenet Healthcare

• No. of furloughed employees: ~11,000

• Industry: Health care

• Date announced: April 15, 2020

Like well over 100 hospitals and health care providers, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare announced it would have to furlough a significant portion of its workers. The company, which had over 113,000 employees at the start of 2020, announced it would furlough around 10% of its workforce. The company operates 65 hospitals and more than 500 other facilities across the country.

Coronavirus funding: How relief funding fails to consider the severity of each state's COVID-19 outbreak

Health care crisis: Amid coronavirus pandemic, these 218 mainly rural counties do not have a single doctor

16. CarMax

• No. of furloughed employees: ~15,500

• Industry: Used cars

• Date announced: April 8, 2020

Used car company CarMax, which was started by the now-defunct Circuit City, announced it would furlough about 15,500 workers, a measure that took effect on April 18. About half of the company's 217 locations are either closed or functioning at less than full capacity. The company cut the pay of its executive team and initiated a freeze on new hirings or store openings.

15. Ascena

• No. of furloughed employees: ~40,000

• Industry: Retail

• Date announced: March 30, 2020

Ascena, parent company of clothing retailers Lane Bryant and Ann Taylor, is one of many brick-and-mortar businesses being hit especially hard by efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. In late March, the company announced plans to furlough all of its store associates and about half of its corporate staff – roughly 40,000 employees. The pay of corporate employees who have not been furloughed would be cut by as much as 45%.

14. Dick's Sporting Goods

• No. of furloughed employees: ~ 40,000

• Industry: Sporting goods

• Date announced: April 8, 2020

Following the closure of some 800 brick-and-mortar locations, sporting goods retailer Dick's announced plans to furlough nearly 40,000 of its employees. The company has kept a small number of staff on the payroll to fulfill online orders, and it plans to bring back the associates who were temporarily laid off when the crisis ends.

13. Landry's Inc.

• No. of furloughed employees: ~40,000

• Industry: Entertainment / restaurants

• Date announced: March 24, 2020

Landry's is the parent company of several recognizable hotel and restaurant brands – like Golden Nugget casinos, Del Frisco's, Saltgrass Steakhouse, Landry's Seafood, Bubba Gump Shrimp, and more – in over 600 properties. Landry's furloughed around 70% of its workforce, or about 40,000 people across all brands.

12. Cheesecake Factory

• No. of furloughed employees: ~41,000

• Industry: Restaurant

• Date announced: March 27, 2020

Cheesecake Factory said in late March it would furlough 41,000 workers because customers were not able to dine in, leaving just over 5,000 employees to run takeout and delivery operations. The restaurant chain said it would provide furloughed workers one free meal per day and keep them eligible for benefits such as health insurance through May.

11. J.C. Penney

• No. of furloughed employees: Majority of hourly workforce

• Industry: Retail

• Date announced: March 31, 2020

Like many other department store retailers, J.C. Penney announced March 31 it will extend store closures and furlough the majority of its hourly workforce beginning on April 2. The company also announced that beginning on April 5 it would furlough a "significant portion" of the workers at the company's accounting center in Salt Lake City and its design office in SoHo, New York. The company had already furloughed a number of workers in supply chain and logistics, and on March 31 it announced that those furloughs would continue.

10. Best Buy

• No. of furloughed employees: 51,000

• Industry: Retail

• Date announced: April 15, 2020

In mid-April, consumer electronics retail giant Best Buy announced plans to furlough 51,000 employees – over a third of the company's total workforce. The cut has affected nearly all hourly workers as well as some full-time employees. While the company reported a surge in sales of items like computer monitors and freezers in the early days of the pandemic, sales have dipped in recent weeks. On top of the furloughs, many company executives have taken a pay cut.

9. Caesars Entertainment

• No. of furloughed employees: ~59,400

• Industry: Entertainment and hospitality

• Date announced: April 3, 2020

Caesars Entertainment, a gaming company that operates a number of casinos and hotels including Caesar's Palace and Planet Hollywood, announced in early April plans to furlough 90% of its 66,000 employees. Those affected will be paid for an additional two weeks and receive health insurance coverage through the end June.

8. L Brands

• No. of furloughed employees: Most employees

• Industry: Retail

• Date announced: March 17, 2020

L Brands, the parent company of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, is one of several American retailers furloughing most of its employees. Though the company did not provide an exact number of how many workers would be temporarily laid off, the furlough applies to all workers who cannot do their job from home and those not working directly to support online sales. According to the company, the furloughs, which were set to begin on April 5, were to last for a total of six weeks. Furloughed workers are to continue to receive health care benefits.

7. Tesla

• No. of furloughed employees: half U.S. sales and delivery staff

• Industry: Auto Manufacturing

• Date announced: April 7, 2020

Tesla furloughed about half of its U.S. sales and delivery staff on Friday, April 10, according to CNBC. The company has around 50,000 employees total. Production was suspended at the company's main U.S. car plant in California, though management has told employees that the company expects the plant to reopen on May 4. According to Tesla insiders, the workers were furloughed on the basis of rank and tenure.

6. Gap Inc.

• No. of furloughed employees: 80,000

• Industry: Retail

• Date announced: March 31, 2020

Gap Inc., parent company of Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic, is one several clothing retailers to rank on this list. The company is furloughing some 80,000 employees, a figure that includes some corporate staff. Company executives are also reportedly taking a cut in pay.

5. Kohl's

• No. of furloughed employees: 85,000

• Industry: Retail

• Date announced: March 30, 2020

Department stores have been hit especially hard by efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. In late March, discount retailer Kohl's announced plans to furlough some 85,000 employees. Those affected include store and distribution center employees, as well as some of the company's corporate staff.

4. Marriott

• No. of furloughed employees: 117,000+

• Industry: Hospitality

• Date announced: March 17, 2020

Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson said in March that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic had been worse for the company than 9/11 and the Great Recession combined. The week prior, Marriott, which is the world's largest hotel company, had begun to furlough two thirds of their 178,000 corporate employees. They will continue to receive health benefits if they received them prior to the furlough.

3. Macy's

• No. of furloughed employees: Majority of 125,000 employees

• Industry: Retail

• Date announced: March 30, 2020

Macy's, like many other department store chains and retailers, has been struggling for years. In February, the company announced plans to shutter 125 stores. By March 17, Macy's closed all 551 locations due to the coronavirus. Two weeks later, Macy's said it would furlough most of its estimated 125,000 employees. Those workers will still receive health insurance through May.

2. TJX Companies

• No. of furloughed employees: Most U.S. employees

• Industry: Retail

• Date announced: April 7, 2020

TJX Companies, the parent company of retailers T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, announced in early April plans to furlough the majority of workers at its U.S. stores and distribution centers. The company employs 286,000 people worldwide. The company's 3,300 U.S. locations have been closed since mid-March. Though eligible employees will still receive benefits, pay for U.S. employees only extended April 11.

1. Disney theme parks

• No. of furloughed employees: ~100,000

• Industry: Theme parks

• Date announced: April 3, 2020

On April 20, Disney announced that it would be furloughing about 100,000 of its workers at its theme parks in the United States. Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida – the largest single-site employer in the United States – bore the brunt of the furloughs with roughly 70,000 workers temporarily laid off. At the time of the announcement, the park had been closed for more than a month.

SEARCHABLE MAP: Coronavirus death rates and cases for every US county: https://interactives.courier-journal.com/projects/cv19/map/ 

All coronavirus coverage is being provided free to our readers. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing. Help keep local businesses afloat at supportlocal.usatoday.com.