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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Before the coronavirus pandemic, takeout and delivery orders made up just a small portion of total sales for most restaurants. With countless customers now homebound, though, to-go business has never been more important for eateries across the country. Many restaurants use apps like Grubhub, Seamless, or DoorDash to handle delivery orders, but these services come with quite a few problems for all their convenience. Besides signing up companies that don’t offer delivery, food startups have also deceived restaurants and Continue reading

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When Airbnb launched in 2008, it encouraged homeowners with extra rooms or add-on structures to rent these spaces out to travelers looking for more authentic experiences than hotels could offer. As the years went by and the startup’s popularity skyrocketed, however, some Airbnb hosts developed real estate portfolios stocked with short-term rental properties. While the growing abundance of Airbnbs often increased rent for people living in cities with thriving tourist industries, many hosts simply watched as the money rolled 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 30, 2020

Although many companies remain closed during the ongoing pandemic, some businesses have been able to alter their operations to produce increasingly vital supplies. This video looks at how Dogfish Head Brewery managed to keep its employees on the payroll while also supplying local hospitals with hand sanitizer.

Questions:

  1. How did Dogfish Head Brewery change its operations to make hand sanitizer?
  2. What is the three-step process that Dogfish Head Brewery used to engage with their community during the coronavirus crisis?
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April 28, 2020

Last week, legislators approved of another round of small business loans after funding failed to reach thousands of companies the first time. Unfortunately, many of these desperate businesses are encountering the same problems as they did a few weeks ago. Shortly after going online on Monday, the Small Business Administration’s electronic loan portal crashed due to high demand. “The SBA’s systems were not designed to and are not capable of handling the volume of loans banks processed over the last 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 21, 2020

A few weeks ago, legislators approved a $2 trillion stimulus package that set aside $349 billion for small businesses that have drastically altered operations during the pandemic. After a poor rollout left many companies unable to petition for relief, however, the fund dried up last weekend with thousands of businesses still in need of loans. What’s more, among the companies that received relief included major chains with thousands of employees and numerous locations across the country.

For example, the 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 14, 2020

Last week, we looked at how dairy and egg suppliers that primarily work with restaurants are struggling to adapt to a radically changed business environment. And while food companies that service supermarkets are better equipped to deal with the current crisis, many suppliers are now facing labor shortages as an increasing number of employees fall ill with coronavirus. Experts predict that the nation’s food supply chains will be disrupted in the coming weeks, potentially resulting in local shortages of certain Continue reading

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