The Wider World

Unemployment up to 16.6m in U.S.

UNEMPLOYED MEN standing in line for a chance for a job during the Great Depression during the 1930s. At its peak nearly 25 percent of the work force was idled (Shutterstock).

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday (today) that 6.6 million more Americans have applied for unemployment benefits over the past week, raising the total to 16.6 million people.

The American unemployment rate could hit 15 percent, the highest figure since the late 1930s as the Great Depression was winding down. The steep rise in joblessness is ascribed to the closure of businesses and other places of employment due to “stay at home” orders issued to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Also, governments across the U.S. and Europe urged people not to relax their vigilance of hand washing, social distancing and mask-wearing over the Easter weekend so as to not undo whatever progress that’s been made in slowing the progress of the virus.

Severe recession in the future?

Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund predicted Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic could push the world’s economy into an historically severe recession. The world’s poorest nations may suffer the worst.

“We anticipate the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression,” she said.

The United States has allocated $2.4 trillion to deal with the virus and to mitigate its economic impact, and another $500 billion follow-up is under discussion in Congress.

UK’s Boris Johnson is out of intensive care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, suffering from the coronavirus, is out of intensive care in London and back into a hospital ward, according to the Associated Press.

He’s been in an ICU for three days; he tested positive for the virus two weeks before and was hospitalized after his symptoms worsened.

Rainy weather tapering off through Easter

The rain that’s soaked lawns and made some streets minor ponds in Orange County is expected to taper off and turn to cloudy weather by Sunday.

Rain is expected to continue today (Thursday), declining to showers by Friday. Saturday should be mostly sunny and Sunday cloudy, according to the National Weather Service.

U.S. still leader in coronavirus cases

The United States continues to lead the world in confirmed cases of the coronavirus. According to the Johns Hopkins University’s ongoing count, 466,033 of the world’s total of 1,601,984 cases are in the U.S.

Following America, the nations with the most cases as of Thursday are Spain (153,222), Italy (143,626), France (118,783) and Germany (118,235).

The total deaths worldwide are at 95,731, with 18,279 in Spain and in the U.S. the count is 16,679.


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