August 4, 2020

From April to June 2020, the U.S. GDP plummeted at an annual rate of 32.9 percent, the worst drop on record. As businesses closed across the country due to the pandemic, the U.S. fell into a recession that wiped out the economic gains of the last five years in just a few months. This data released last week by the Commerce Department “just highlights how deep and dark the hole is that the economy cratered into in Q2,” said economist Continue reading

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July 30, 2020

According to data from Yelp, more than 55 percent of the 132,500 businesses listed on the site that closed during the pandemic will remain shuttered permanently. Although government relief bought some companies time, businesses that are now closed will likely remain that way for the long term. Restaurants account for the greatest share of permanent and temporary closures, followed closely by retailers and then beauty salons and spas. 

“Businesses are needing to decide, ‘Do I renew my lease on Continue reading

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July 28, 2020

Last Friday, a federal moratorium on evictions for tenants in government-assisted housing expired. With eviction moratoriums in many states also at an end, experts fear that millions of Americans could be kicked out of their homes in the coming months. According to one estimate, as many as 40 million people could be evicted during the pandemic. “It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen,” said John Pollock of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel.

Mass unemployment as a result Continue reading

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July 21, 2020

Yesterday, tens of thousands of workers across the U.S. walked off their jobs in support of the “Strike for Black Lives.” According to organizers, the strike was held to bring greater attention to issues like income inequality and systemic racism in both the private and public sectors. The nationwide event included members from labor unions and political groups such as the Service Employees International Union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, American Federation of Teachers, and dozens of other organizations. 

The Continue reading

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July 16, 2020

Nearly four months into the pandemic, millions of Americans are struggling to remain employed. Last week more than 1.5 million people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time, an increase of almost 109,000 from the previous week. The total number of unemployment claims stood at 17.3 million for the week ending in July 4th, with many people also collecting expanded benefits that could soon expire. 

“What we’re seeing is continued, historic elevated rates of job loss in the Continue reading

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During the first six months of 2020, U.S. stock markets went through their biggest quarter-to-quarter swing in more than 80 years. March saw share prices plummet as businesses across the country closed or altered their hours. Then an unprecedented round of economic stimulus from the federal government both halted the sell-off and sent stocks soaring to their best quarterly performance in nearly two decades. 

With much of that relief now set to expire, however, where the markets go next Continue reading

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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 25, 2020

After months on lockdown, states across the country have relaxed stay-at-home orders and allowed businesses to gradually resume operations. This slight return to normalcy caused the stock market to rally over the last few weeks to levels approaching its January 2020 highs. But even though many Americans are desperate to return to something resembling normal life, coronavirus remains a dangerous threat to public health. In fact, cases of infection have been steadily rising as states and businesses reopen.

As a Continue reading

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June 19, 2020

Back in April, we looked at how American dairy farmers were dumping thousands of gallons of milk due to drastic drops in demand from businesses and schools. This video illustrates how this problem has grown in the months since and offers potential solutions that could keep supplies and prices stable.

Questions:

  1. How have dairy cooperatives responded to the supply crisis that was caused by the pandemic?
  2. Do you think independent farmers should receive more relief from federal regulators? Why or why not?
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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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