Economics in the News – March 30-April 5
Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week in economic news.
- Layoffs attributable to the coronavirus has forced a record number of Americans to file for unemployment benefits. Many are frustrated because they are unable to get through. Meanwhile business owners continue to try to find solutions as they wait for their aid from the federal government. 60 Minutes covers how the COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on the economy.
- Nearly 10 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks with 3.28 million Americans filing the week of March 21, and 6.6 million Americans during the week of March 28. [NPR]
- The coronavirus hit small business owners hard. Many are strapped for cash and desperately need their share of the $349 billion in loans from the federal government to remain open and retain employees. But a huge demand for the loans may overwhelm banks and delay getting the urgently needed funds to businesses. [New York Times]
- While many across the United States are following shelter-in-place orders and practicing social distancing, the demand for home deliveries increased sharply. Amazon announced that it would hire 100,000 additional warehouse and delivery workers to keep up with demand. Meal delivery companies such as DoorDash and UberEats are also experiencing higher than usual demand, as workers in the gig economy weigh their options between staying healthy or earning money. [New York Times]
- More than 140 experimental drug treatments and vaccines are in development worldwide to treat coronavirus. What normally would over a years to test, has been cut to months, but experts believe early 2021 is the soonest a treatment or vaccine would be available unless some tests on existing medications. [Wall Street Journal ($)]