June 26, 2020

For the 14th week in a row, more than 1 million people filed for unemployment benefits as fallout from the pandemic continues to hurt workers across the nation. The last three weeks have each seen the number of newly unemployed Americans hover around the 1.5 million mark, an ominous sign that economic recovery could still be a long time coming. 

Although some people have returned to work as states reopen, the rising number of coronavirus cases threatens to once Continue reading

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June 11, 2020

Tens of millions of Americans have filed for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic. This historically high number increased by another 1.5 million last week as many people continue to struggle to make ends meet. Although the gradual reopening of businesses has sent some back to work, nearly 21 million Americans are still receiving unemployment benefits. All together, more than 44 million people have applied for unemployment over the course of the pandemic. 

“That means 29 percent of the workforce Continue reading

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With tens of millions of Americans currently out of work, the U.S. is experiencing an unemployment crisis on a scale not seen since the height of the Great Depression. This video looks at the devastating effects of rising joblessness while also explaining how several European governments intervened to avoid disastrous unemployment rates. 

Questions:

  1. Why is the U.S. unemployment insurance system not equipped to face the current crisis?
  2. Do you think the U.S. should take a more active role in Continue reading
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Last month, 20.5 million people lost their jobs, sending the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 14.7 percent. Economists predict that the actual jobless rate could be even worse when factoring in people who are out of work but not collecting unemployment benefits. Experts also expect that things will only get worse in May as job cuts spread to white-collar workers. “It’s devastating,” said Ryan Sweet of Moody’s Analytics. “There’s someone behind each of these numbers. It’s going to take years to Continue reading

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April 23, 2020

This morning, the Labor Department announced that another 4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. That brings the official number of jobless people to 26.5 million over the past month, effectively erasing almost all of the new jobs created since the 2008 financial crisis. To make matters worse, many state unemployment processing systems have become overwhelmed after receiving record numbers of requests. As a result, experts predict that the actual number of jobless Americans could be much higher Continue reading

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April 16, 2020

With thousands of stores closed around the country, U.S. retailers saw sales plunge by 8.7 percent in March. That represents the worst monthly decline on record as millions of consumers stopped visiting restaurants, bars, and shopping malls due to stay-at-home orders for coronavirus containment. While sales of cars, furniture, and electronics all experienced double digit drops, spending at clothing stores plummeted by more than 50 percent. Manufacturing capacity and oil production also fell to their lowest rates since the end Continue reading

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April 9, 2020

This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that another 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. All told, almost 17 million people have applied for jobless aid in the past three weeks, accounting for 10 percent of the U.S. labor force. The sudden loss of so many jobs is staggering and unprecedented. For comparison, it took two years for 8.6 million people to lose their jobs during the Great Recession. Many analysts predict that the unemployment rate Continue reading

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April 2, 2020

After a long debate, last week legislators finally approved and signed into law a $2 trillion stimulus package that provides much needed economic relief during this unprecedented health crisis. The video below looks at how the money will be allocated to companies and the logistics behind expanded unemployment benefits as well as a $1,200 stimulus payment to American adults. 

Questions:

  1. What sort of restrictions does the stimulus package place upon companies that accept government relief?
  2. Do you think this Continue reading
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March 27, 2020

With movie theaters across the world closed due to coronavirus containment, experts predict that the global film industry could lose as much as $15 billion this year. China shuttered more than 60,000 theaters in January right before the annual Lunar New Year holidays, a boom period that usually brings in $2 billion in box office sales. Meanwhile in the U.S., AMC Theatres recently announced that it has furloughed its CEO and corporate staff after the company closed more than 1,000 Continue reading

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March 26, 2020

After the federal government placed a ban on gatherings of ten or more people last Monday, restaurants and bars across the country either closed or drastically altered their operations. Although such measures are necessary to contain the spread of coronavirus, countless businesses have had to furlough workers or lay them off entirely as a result. In fact, statistics released by the Labor Department this morning found that a record 3.3 million Americans applied to receive unemployment benefits last week.

That Continue reading

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