Economics in the News – May 4-10
Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week in economic news.
- The U.S. economy lost 20.5 million jobs in April and the unemployment rate spiked to 14.7 percent – the highest level since the Great Depression, when it peaked at 25 percent. The 20.5 million jobs lost more than doubles the 8.7 million lost in the last recession when unemployment peaked around 10 percent in October 2009. [The New York Times]
- The coronavirus is devastating the airline industry. Major airlines have been running on dramatically decreased schedules with passenger traffic down around 94 percent. Flights are averaging 23 passengers. Airlines, such as Delta Airlines, are losing as much as $350 million to $450 million a day. [The New York Times]
- England Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out a plan to begin easing lockdown restrictions by permitting those who are unable to work from home to return to work. Citizens would be allowed unlimited exercise outdoors. Social distancing will continue to be encouraged. [BBC]
- While many governments throughout the world have enforced strict lockdowns due to the coronavirus, Sweden’s government chose to remain open. However, data suggests that remaining open has not insulated Sweden’s economy from suffering. Many Swedes are taking their own precautions in social distancing and working from home. Exports are down. Economists expect the Swedish economy to contract 7 percent, compared to an estimated 8 percent decline in the Eurozone. [The Wall Street Journal]
- Despite the coronavirus pandemic killing nearly 250,000 people worldwide and ravaging the global economy, the U.S. stock market surged in April with investors looking ahead to an economic recovery. [The Associated Press]