The Wider World

Jobless rate drops to 11.1 %

LAYOFFS because of the coronavirus pandemic pushed the jobless rate to 13.2 percent, but now it’s down to 11.1 (Shutterstock).

When is more both bad and good at the same time?

On the Thursdays when the U.S. Department of Labor announces the latest numbers of new applications for unemployment benefits.

An estimated 1.4 million Americans filed for new help, bringing the total to around 19.3 million people collecting jobless pay. The good news is that the claims were fewer by 55,000 compared to the last round, according to United Press International.

The unemployment rate has now dipped to 11.1 percent, down from 13.2. The Labor  Department noted that new claims were showing a steady decline. Additionally, 4.8 millions jobs were added in the past month.

Coronavirus is blamed for the implosion of the job market, and the re-opening of many businesses is credited for a steady but modest rebound in employment.

Texas, Kansas strap on their masks

People in the Lone Star and Sunflower states were ordered on Thursday to start wearing face coverings by their governors.

MASKS will be required in Texas and Kansas (Flickr/Daniel Foster).

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbot issued the order, but it only applies to counties where there are 20 or more confirmed cases of coronavirus. It also bans gatherings of more than 10 people.

Kansas Gov. Laura Jelly signed an order on Thursday mandating the wearing of masks in public and for situations when six feet of social distancing aren’t possible.

Both states had spikes in the number of new COVID-19 infections. Texas has 8,123 new cases on Wednesday and Kansas over 500.

Florida and Indiana are among the states also reporting marked increases. Across the nation, 50,000 new cases were reported, a new one-day high.

Also in the news….

The title sponsor of the Washington Redskins’ stadium has asked the team to change its name. FedEx was one of several other sponsors to request the change. • The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday voted 5-4 to stop a plan to allow curbside voting in Alabama. A federal judge had ruled in favor of the plan as a way of helping sick or elderly citizens to vote conveniently • President Donald Trump did not receive an intelligence briefing claiming that Russia was paying a bounty of U.S. and British soldiers in Afghanistan, the White House claimed • Real Clear Politics’ average of recent presidential election polls shows Democrat Joe Biden leading Trump in the popular vote 49.3 percent to 40 percent. The averages also shows Biden leading in states with 222 electoral votes to 125 for the president.

It felt like a bit of a holiday

Before Wall Street brokers rush off for the weekend, they’re leaving us with some good news for investors. The three major stock exchanges all posted modest returns on Thursday.

THE BULLS had a good day on Wall Street (Shutterstock)

The Dow Jones Average was up 92.39 points to 25,827.36, an increase of 0.36 percent.  The S&P 500 rose by 14.15 points to 3,130.01, a rise of 0.45 percent. The Nasdaq joined the parade with a leap of 53 points to 10,207.63, a bump of 0.52 percent.

Thursday’s big movers were Noble Energy, up 7.79 percent, Akamai Technologies, up 6.39 percent and Technip FMC, up 5.25 percent.

Headed in the other direction were Dish Network (down 4.5 percent), Carnival Corp. (down 2.93 percent) and Norwegian Cruise Lines (down 2.74 percent).

Celebrate your freedom with safety

The beaches along the Orange County coast may be closed this weekend, but the weather should finally look like summer. Friday will be sunny with a high near 80, according to the National Weather Service. There will be light westerly winds for the West Orange County area with overnight lows around 62.  On Saturday – Independence Day – morning clouds will give way to a sunny afternoon with highs around 82. Winds could start to gust in the afternoon. Sunday will be similar. Temps will be cooler near the coast. Stay safe and sane, citizens.

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