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US It was the worst week for the economy in decades. The pain is just beginning.

03:50  27 march  2020
03:50  27 march  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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The pain is just beginning . ‘ It ’s making me go into a depression,’ said LaTonua Bowens, a laid off cook. Economists say the jobless claims reported Thursday, which reflected workers seeking unemployment insurance last week , is the start of a massive spike in unemployment that could result

“ It ’s really hard to think of a human tragedy of this scale outside civil war,” said Kenneth Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard University and And in recent months, the Trump administration has imposed stiff sanctions to try to cripple it further. As the country’s economy plummeted, armed gangs

The record 3.3 million jobless claims reported Thursday mark the beginning of an economic crisis facing American workers and businesses — a slump, experts say, that will only end when the coronavirus pandemic is contained.

a man standing in front of a building: Pam Massey, 66, inside the Ultimate Looks hair salon in Gig Harbor, Washington. Her income is $0 as her state has locked down, but her bills are still piling up. © Stuart Isett/For The Washington Post Pam Massey, 66, inside the Ultimate Looks hair salon in Gig Harbor, Washington. Her income is $0 as her state has locked down, but her bills are still piling up.

The economy has entered a deep recession that has echoes of the Great Depression in the way it has devastated so many businesses and consumers, triggering mass layoffs and threatening to set off a chain reaction of bankruptcies and financial losses for companies large and small.

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It is worth it ! Traditional winter drinks. Not as bad as you may think ! A unique cultural season. After World War II, Cousteau began his life’s work onboard the research ship Calypso. He worked with divers and scientists to photograph and gather samples of underwater plants and animals.

That weakness suggests that China’s economy will race past Japan’s for the full year. “This is just the beginning ,” said Wang Tao, an economist at UBS in Beijing. Economists say that China’s economy is too heavily dependent on exports and investment and that it needs to encourage greater

What sets this downturn apart is how rapidly the virus — and the economic pain — have spread. It remains a wide open question whether this will become a long-lasting slump or a short-lived flash recession.

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Economists say the jobless claims reported Thursday, which reflected workers seeking unemployment insurance last week, is the start of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by mid-April. 

Although no official figures exist yet, the unemployment rate has likely jumped to at least 5.5 percent, says economist Martha Gimbel of Schmidt Futures, a level not seen since 2015 and up from 3.5 percent in February.

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“Any society that lost a quarter of its economy will have severe social problems,” Euclid Tsakalotos A newly stable economy has prompted a return to hiring at the Greek construction company where Mr It is a sign of the uneasy nature of Greece’s recovery that , even with a coveted full-time contract

That only heightened the economic pain for the many emerging economies that are major commodity producers, such as Brazil, Mexico In 2015, with signs that the United States economy was returning to health, she and her colleagues believed it was time to begin raising interest rates.

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“The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” Gimbel said. 

That carnage is only likely to be partially ameliorated by a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill that the Senate passed late Wednesday evening and the House is aiming to approve Friday.

The bill, which give most Americans checks worth $1,200 or more and provides billions in low-cost loans to businesses, is likely to provide a lifeline to workers and companies facing devastation, but it won’t stop a severe recession nor be adequate to sustain workers if the coronavirus health crisis lasts more than a month or two.

“We all think of a recession as having an economic underpinning, but this has not thing to do with economics. This is literally about trying to stay away from people,” said Aparna Mathur, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

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Nevertheless, as the euro area enters its third decade it is still vulnerable to another downturn and underlying tensions are In 2015, after much delay, it began a programme of quantitative easing. Its purchases of securities, such as government The economy was limping even before currency union.

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Much of the nation has made the gut-wrenching choice to stop about half the economy and encourage most workers to stay home in an effort to as save as many lives as possible.

LaTonua Bowens lost her job at Olive Garden in Shreveport, La., a week and a half ago. She got the call from her boss as she was coming out of Target empty-handed after an unsuccessful attempt to find toilet paper and sanitizer. Her boss told her to apply for unemployment insurance because no one knows how long it will last.

Stunned, Bowens drove to the Olive Garden parking lot where she commiserated with another laid off cook, who had also come to the restaurant because she couldn’t believe the job losses either. They sat in their cars with their windows rolled down trying to understand how this boom-to-bust happened.

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“It’s making me go into a depression,” said Bowens. “I’m worried if I’m going to still have a job. I’ve been at my job for 10 years.”

Bowens says she drove home and spent hours applying for Louisiana’s unemployment aid because the website was so slow. Newly unemployed workers across the country said in interviews it took hours, or even days, in some cases to apply last week because websites were so slow or down completely.

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The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world, lasting from 1929 to 1939. It began after the stock After showing early signs of recovery beginning in the spring of 1933, the economy continued to improve throughout the next three years, during which

FOR THE past two weeks Chinese and American negotiators have been locked in talks in Beijing and Washington to end Growth this quarter may fall to 6%, the worst in nearly three decades . Two decades ago it was possible, even sensible, to imagine that China would gradually free markets and

When she initially applied, Louisiana was still requiring people seeking jobless aid to prove they were actively searching for work, even in the pandemic. The state has now waived that requirement. Bowens and her husband, a repair man, are both out of work, but they have yet to receive any payments. Bowens just wants her old job back.

“I am not the sitting at home type person,” Bowens said. “I am not just a line cook. I do set up. Serving. Bartending. I can be the host or the ‘to go’ specialist. I have learned every job they have.”

The average unemployment benefit check is currently $385 a week, which is less than half the typical weekly paycheck in the United States. The amount is slated to rise an additional $600 a week once President Trump signs the relief bill into law, a substantial increase meant to tide workers over as they are forced to stay home.

But there is concern whether the money will arrive in time. Some states have waived the week-long waiting period before the first payment goes out, but others have not. Bowen’s husband takes nine pills a day for high blood pressure and other conditions. He is currently rationing them as the couple worry about stretching their finances.

Even in businesses that are considered “essential” and remain open, life has changed dramatically. Scott DeHenau, who runs an industrial packaging company called Pak-Rite in Wixom, Mich., says his firm is open because it does work for the medical and defense industries. But DeHenau almost wishes it was closed.

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All employees now have their temperature tested on the way into the warehouse. He’s had lengthy discussions with each worker about whether they should take the health risk of coming to work. They now run two shifts and mandate that employees stand about 10 feet from each other. Between the shifts, they sanitize the whole facility — doorknobs, surfaces, bathrooms, tools.

Despite all this, business is down 40 percent from where it was this time last year. Some customers are cancelling at the last minute. Supplies from Asia have dried up, and sometimes deliveries can’t be made from suppliers or to his customers as trucking companies don’t have enough healthy drivers or capacity.

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“The covid-19 thing has really thrown a wrench in us sideways. We’re not one of those companies that has a lot of cash reserves,” DeHenau said. “We’re day by day here. It’s a lot of restless nights.”

DeHenau tried to apply for a Small Business Administration loan this week, but the site was so busy he only managed to get a login created before it froze. So far, he’s only had to lay off one of his 30 employees, but everyone is bracing for more if the situation doesn’t improve soon.

Michigan is one of 21 states that has told all nonessential employees to stay home. DeHenau’s business was founded in 1946 by his grandfather, and he doesn’t want to let the legacy down.

“The smaller the firm, the more damage this is going to cause,” said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM, an audit firm that specializes in midsized companies. “What we’re hearing from smaller customers is for some of them it is too late.”

Brusuelas is also watching the commercial real estate market closely as a good indicator of whether the downturn is turning into something that will be hard to bounce back from. The Cheesecake Factory has stopped paying rent on all its properties across the nation, and many business owners say they might do the same because government aid likely won’t arrive in time for April 1 payments. Commercial real estate stocks are down as much as 60 percent this year.

Another warning sign is companies starting to slash pay. Occidental Petroleum is cutting all U.S. worker salaries by 30 percent, and many smaller businesses say they are considering something similar, figuring it is better than layoffs. These pay reductions are another way this crisis is rapidly changing the economy’s trajectory after years of steady gains and likely making it harder for people to bounce right back to their prior spending levels, even if they kept their job.

Next week and the following week’s unemployment claims numbers are also likely to be telling. While 3.3 million new benefit applications last week was a shocking figure, it only represents a fraction of the number of people whose jobs have been cut in this flash recession so far.

Pam Massey, a hairdresser in Gig Harbor, Washington, hasn’t cut anyone’s hair since March 13. Her income has disappeared, but she has not been able to apply for her state’s unemployment benefits because she is technically self-employed. Gig workers, self-employed, and people who have only worked for a few months typically aren’t eligible to get jobless aid from the government.

The Senate bill greatly expands who can get benefits to include self employed workers like Massey, but she has already lost half a month of income and she has to wait for the House to pass the bill and her state to implement the change.

“I worried about my mortgage. I’m trying to get ready for retirement. This is going to kill it,” said Massey. “But if we don’t stop the virus now, it will continue for god only knows how long. Let’s take the suffering up front.”

Trump has debated trying to reopen parts of the country by Easter, but economists and health experts fear that could cause more loss of life and even end up prolonging the recession if the coronavirus cases spike again.

In his first appearance on morning television Thursday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell told NBC’s “Today” show that the nation “may well be in a recession” already, but making the country safe has to be the top concern.

“The first order of business is to get the virus under control and then resume economic activity," he said.

Andrew Van Dam and Alyssa Fowers contributed to this report.

Americans are making huge sacrifices. Make sure they’re worth it .
With last week’s jaw-dropping unemployment figures showing 3.3 million people applied for unemployment insurance, it is increasingly clear just how seriously Americans are facing abrupt and devastating personal consequences due to our prudent and necessary social distancing measures in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. This has led some leaders and commentators to ask if it is all worth it or if the cure, in this case, is, in fact, worse than the disease. We must balance not letting the illness spread and not letting it choke our economy, goes the argument, as if the economy could thrive with the virus still being transmitted.

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