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COVID-19

Today’s Numbers: The COVID Economy

Scott Tong and Mitchell Hartman Aug 13, 2020
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As of 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, Aug. 13, 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: 1,503 (rising)

U.S. COVID-19 new cases yesterday: 56,035 (rising)

Daily new tests reported, U.S.: 479,048 (falling)

COVID patients now in hospital: 47,954 (falling)

“Are gaiters good for virus protection” searches yesterday: +4950%

Impact of ending COVID jobless benefit (NBER working paper): -44% drop in local spending

Initial jobless claims, week ending August 8: 963,000

Continuing claims, most recent week: 27.1 million

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

What’s going on with extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

The latest: President Donald Trump signed an executive action directing $400 extra a week in unemployment benefits. But will that aid actually reach people? It’s still unclear. Trump directed federal agencies to send $300 dollars in weekly aid, taken from the federal disaster relief fund, and called on states to provide an additional $100. But states’ budgets are stretched thin as it is.

What’s the latest on evictions?

For millions of Americans, things are looking grim. Unemployment is high, and pandemic eviction moratoriums have expired in states across the country. And as many people already know, eviction is something that can haunt a person’s life for years. For instance, getting evicted can make it hard to rent again. And that can lead to spiraling poverty.

Which retailers are requiring that people wear masks when shopping? And how are they enforcing those rules?

Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, CVS, Home Depot, Costco — they all have policies that say shoppers are required to wear a mask. When an employee confronts a customer who refuses, the interaction can spin out of control, so many of these retailers are telling their workers to not enforce these mandates. But, just having them will actually get more people to wear masks.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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