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The coronavirus pandemic has forced non-essential businesses to close.
April 16, 2020, 3:35 PM
6 min read
6 min read
The coronavirus pandemic has quickly evolved from a health care crisis to a financial one, shuttering businesses, upending industries and sending financial markets reeling. – Here’s the latest news on how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the economy. For more on financial resources available during the pandemic, click here.
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Starbucks announces plan to begin re-opening stores
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson sent a letter to staff Thursday announcing plans to begin reopening stores.
“With governments, health care professionals, businesses and citizens all working together, there is evidence many markets have in fact ‘flattened the curve’ and are now beginning to see a decline in the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases,” Johnson said.
The company has developed a “data-rich dashboard” with information, government data, confirmed cases and trends about COVID-19 that can be used to “influence decisions at the individual store level,” he added.
Citing the experience of reopening in China, where the outbreak began, Johnson said this “transitioning” phase “can best be described as ‘monitor and adapt.'”
He emphasized that every community will monitor the situation and respond differently. Some Starbucks stores will continue as drive-thru only, others may use contactless pickup and delivery, and some may reopen for “to-go” ordering.
He said local field leaders will look at four main factors: “the local status of the public health crisis, guidance from health and government officials, community sentiment and store operational readiness.”
Finally, Johnson said local leaders will keep workers informed of when stores will begin a reopen process and what to expect from a staffing and scheduling perspective.
Johnson’s announcement comes as President Donald Trump and other leaders have urged a reopening of the national economy. Trump said guidelines on the reopening process should be coming Thursday.
5.2 million more Americans file for unemployment amid COVID-19 crisis
An additional 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.
This brings the total to more than 20 million people who have already applied for unemployment insurance amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as non-essential businesses across the country have been forced to shutter.
This means nearly all the job gains since the 2009 recession have been wiped out in a month.
The adjusted unemployment rate for the week ending April 4 was 8.2%, the DOL said, which “marks the highest level of the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate in the history of the seasonally adjusted series.”
The previous high was 7% in May of 1975.
Moody’s Investor Services is forecasting the unemployment rate to spike even higher and “average between 8.8% and 16.2% in the second quarter” as a result of business closures and the scaling back of work.
“Job losses have so far been concentrated in sectors directly impacted by quarantine restrictions,” Moody’s Senior Vice President Robard Williams said in a statement. “However, as shutdowns continue, job losses will likely extend into other areas of the labor market, such as business and professional services where firms may begin to see lower revenues from a second order pull back in demand.”
The rampant unemployment will likely further cut back household spending in the U.S., which already saw a steep decline in March, according to Williams.
People line up outside the Utah Department of workforce Services, April 13, 2020, in Salt Lake City.
People line up outside the Utah Department of workforce Services, April 13, 2020, in Salt Lake City.Rick Bowmer/AP, FILE
Meanwhile, as the unemployment filings skyrocket, many Americans report ongoing struggles in applying for unemployment insurance across the country.
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sources: original article published at cnn.com and abc.com top stories