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Today’s Numbers: The COVID Economy

Scott Tong and Mitchell Hartman Dec 3, 2020
Kira-Yan/Getty Images

As of 10:30 a.m. Eastern time, Dec. 3, 2020 (we’ll update every weekday morning).

“The leading economic indicator is … the virus.” More than one analyst has put it to us this way. As we try to understand and quantify this unprecedented global economic collapse — and now the attempted restart — we’re following key metrics for COVID-19 and the broader economy.

Welcome to Marketplace’s daily, at-a-glance update.

U.S.‌ ‌COVID-19‌ ‌deaths‌ ‌reported‌ ‌—‌ ‌yesterday:‌‌ 2,733 (record high)‌

U.S.‌ ‌COVID-19‌ ‌new‌ ‌cases‌ —‌ ‌yesterday: 195,695 (record high)‌

Daily‌ ‌new‌ ‌tests‌ ‌reported,‌ ‌U.S.:‌ 1.96 million‌‌ (record high)‌ ‌‌ ‌

COVID-19 patients now in hospital: 100,226 (record high)

Commercial bankruptcies (Chapter 11): +40% over last year  

Percentage of Americans concerned about out-of-pocket health care costs (Harris poll): 45%

First-time state unemployment claims, most recent week: +712,000 (falling)

Recipients of federal emergency unemployment benefits (after running out of state benefits): 4,569,016 (rising)

Recipients of federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (for gig workers and others not eligible for state benefits): 8,869,502 (falling)

Job cuts announced by U.S. employers, November: 64,797 (down 20% from October, up 45% from November 2019)

Total job cuts announced by U.S. employers so far in 2020: 2,227,725 (up 298% from 2019, highest on record)

Amazon revenue, delivery times

Keep in mind: The tally of COVID-19 cases represents only the ones that are documented.

Our main trusty sources: World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Johns Hopkins University, Our World in Data (based on WHO data, Covid Tracking (scientist/journalist collaboration), GasBuddy.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Are states ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccines?

Claire Hannan, executive director of the nonprofit Association of Immunization Managers, which represents state health officials, said states have been making good progress in their preparations. And we could have several vaccines pretty soon. But states still need more funding, she said. Hannan doesn’t think a lack of additional funding would hold up distribution initially, but it could cause problems down the road. “It’s really worrisome that Congress may not pass funding or that there’s information circulating saying that states don’t need additional funding,” she said.

How is the service industry dealing with the return of coronavirus restrictions?

Without another round of something like the Paycheck Protection Program, which kept a lot of businesses afloat during the pandemic’s early stages, the outlook is bleak for places like restaurants. Some in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, only got one week of indoor dining back before cases rose and restrictions went back into effect. Restaurant owners are revamping their business models in an effort to survive while waiting to see if they’ll be able to get more aid.

How are hospitals handling the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases?

As the pandemic surges and more medical professionals themselves are coming down with COVID, nearly 1 in 5 hospitals in the country report having a critical shortage of staff, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. One of the knock-on effects of staff shortages is that people who have other medical needs are being asked to wait.

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