The Wider World

Joblessness near Depression era

FRIDAY’S report on unemployment shows a level not reached since the Great Depression (Wikipedia).

As was widely expected, Friday’s report of the U.S. unemployment rate was bad news.

The Department of Labor revealed the jobless rate for April was 14.7 percent, the highest since the latter stages of the Great Depression.  According to the Associated Press, counting furloughed employees who are expected to return to work, the percentage of the work force idled would be 23.6 percent, nearly as high as the 24.9 percent at the depths of the Depression of 1930-1940.

The Labor Department reported that 20.5 million jobs had disappeared, the worst monthly loss ever. However, the report also indicated that 75 percent of those laid off in April consider that temporary.

Wall Street, assuming the worst may be over, reacted positively to the report. According to Reuters, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 455.43 points. The S&P 500 rose by 48.61 points and NASDAQ was up by 141.66 points.

Arrests made in fatal shooting of jogger

Authorities on Friday arrested a father and son on murder charges in the fatal shooting of a black man who was jogging along a street in a community in Georgia. His assailants are white.

TWO MEN were arrested for murder in the shooting death of a black jogger in Georgia (Shutterstock).

According to the New York Times, Gregory McMichael, 64, and son Travis McMichael, 34, will face felony murder charges in the Feb. 23 death of Ahmaud Arbery, 25. The incident took place in Santilla Shores.

The arrests by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation came weeks after the local district attorney declined to file charges. But the GBI Director Vic Reynolds said it took his agency just 36 hours to get arrest warrants.

A video shot on a cell phone was influential. It shows Arbery jogging. Shortly he was followed by two armed men in a pickup truck. They later said they believed he matched the description of a burglary suspect.

A tussle ensued and three blasts from a shotgun were fired at Arbery, killing him.

Coronavirus deaths in U.S top 75,000

Worldwide deaths from the coronavirus are now at 274,654 with 77,178 in the United States. The U.S. leads the world both in deaths and confirmed cases. Johns Hopkins University is reporting 1,249,846 cases in America as of Friday, May 8.

Next in confirmed cases is Spain with 221,447. Next in deaths is the United Kingdom with 30,615.

The count of confirmed cases worldwide as of this posting is 3.935 million cases.

Weather: Weekend outlook a bit cloudy

It’s called May Grey; that period when spring hangs on a bit before yielding to summer. Cloudy conditions are predicted for Orange County on Saturday and Sunday with highs of 80 and 74 respectively. Overnight lows will range from 60 to 58.




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