Economics in the News – Feb. 3-9
Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week in economic news.
- The coronavirus continues to spread with more than 40,000 outbreaks globally, mostly contained in the Wuhan region of mainland China. The virus has caused more than 900 deaths (recently updated by The Associated Press), surpassing the number of fatalities caused by SARS in 2003. The Guardian details how the virus could have global economic repercussions; given China’s dominance in trade and how many large corporations rely on suppliers based in China.
- The U.S. labor market added 225,000 jobs in January according to the Labor Department’s latest figures announced on Friday. NPR reports that the unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point from the 3.5% in the final two months of 2019 to 3.6% because more people have entered the labor force rather than losing their job. With the unseasonably warm temperatures, construction jobs saw the largest increase with 44,000 jobs added.
- The Republican-controlled Senate acquitted President Donald Trump Wednesday of charges that he abused the powers of office and attempted to pressure Ukraine into political investigations. The acquittal caps a three-week long impeachment trial, where, according to The Washington Post, senators voted to acquit him by a 52 to 48 margin on the abuse-of-power charge and 53 to 47 on the accusation of obstruction.
- The XFL has relaunched, almost two decades after the original version of the league folded after one season. The springtime football league rebranded with eight teams debuting over the weekend with players earning an average of $55,000, according to FOX Business.
- The wildfires and coronavirus may threaten Australia’s 28-year run without a recession – the longest on-going expansion in the developed world. Tourism and agriculture have suffered the most. The Wall Street Journal ($) details how the fire has devastated more than 260,000 square miles.
- The new travel ban issued by President Donald Trump will have economic repercussions for six countries, including Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy. Other countries include: Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan. The New York Times ($) estimates that the ban will affect more than 300 million people.