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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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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April 24, 2020

For nearly two months, millions of Americans have been shut inside their homes in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. Many people have turned to video games as a way to pass the time, and one of the most popular titles of the last few weeks has been Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Players of the Nintendo Switch title move into their own island where they work and hunt for treasure all in an effort to buy things Continue reading

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April 10, 2020

Over the last few weeks, shoppers at supermarkets across the country have stocked up on versatile staples like milk, bread, and eggs that are well-suited for hunkering at home. But as many meat and dairy producers ramp up production to satisfy this increasing demand, food companies that serve clients like restaurants and schools are drastically scaling back. With many eating establishments now closed or take-out only due to coronavirus containment, food suppliers have seen demand for their services plummet. As 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 17, 2020

Fears over the spread of coronavirus have upended daily life for millions of Americans and countless businesses. The CDC has recommended that organizations cancel any events with 50 or more people, and restaurants around the country are either switching to take-out only or closing entirely. As a result of the uncertainty surrounding this health crisis, financial markets around the globe are experiencing near-record drops in value. In fact, on Monday the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted by about 3,000 points, Continue reading

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March 12, 2020

Yesterday, the World Health Organization officially classified coronavirus as a pandemic, causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to plummet by nearly 1,500 points. This rapid decline in the market has reversed more than a decade of expansion for the U.S. economy while companies around the world suffer from border closures and shutdowns. As a result, employees in many struggling industries are facing layoffs as business as usual grinds to a halt. 

For instance, the Port of Los Angeles has Continue reading

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February 28, 2020

Stock markets around the world have been falling dramatically all week due to fears surrounding the spread of the coronavirus. If global exchanges continue with this cycle of massive selloffs today, then the past week could represent the biggest stock market drop since the height of the 2008 financial crisis. And it’s not looking too good so far: “We’re drinking from a fireman’s hose this morning,” said Patrick Spencer, managing director at the investment firm Baird. “It wasn’t a good Continue reading

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