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Museum employees most affected by furloughs/layoffs during COVID-19 in the U.S. 2020

Due to the safety restrictions put in place during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many museums worldwide had to close to the public. As a result, some institutions furloughed or laid off staff in order to face the financial losses caused by closures. According to an October 2020 study, employees of U.S. museums working for guest services, admissions, frontline, and retail were the most affected by these budget-cutting measures. Overall, 68 percent of surveyed institutions claimed to have furloughed or laid off staff working in frontline positions. Meanwhile, 40 percent of museums involved in the study implemented furloughs or layoffs to employees working in education departments.

Share of museum employees affected by furloughs or layoffs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States as of October 2020

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Release date

November 2020


United States

Survey time period

October 15 to 28, 2020

Number of respondents


Special properties

Respondents come from museums across the United States

Supplementary notes

* The source specified that 53 percent of the 850 surveyed museums furloughed or laid off staff as of October 2020.
The survey question was phrased by the source as follows: "Which staff positions were most affected by the layoff/furloughs?".

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Statistics on "Museums in the United States"

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