Firms announced nearly 900 layoffs because of pandemic

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The coronavirus is already forcing companies to lay off workers and the job losses are likely to mount rapidly as the global health crisis drags on.

U.S. companies have announced 893 job cuts as a result of the outbreak, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. The losses include 145 drivers at the Port of Los Angeles amid stalled shipments from China, 360 by Oyo Hotels and 250 by Christie Lites, a stage lighting company.

Canceled events led to 300 layoffs, including 175 related to the South by Southwest technology and media conference in Austin, Texas, Challenger says.

Basic Fun, a toymaker based in Boca Raton, Florida, eliminated 18 jobs. Company CEO Jay Foreman told CNBC the firm has been hit with both supply disruptions from China and reduced demand.

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