The United States of America is in turmoil. As a result of the coronavirus, over 139,000 people have died, and more than 3.2 million have been infected with the virus. The death rate is the highest in the world, and although some states have started to ease lockdown restrictions, the death rate does not seem to be decreasing.
Because of coronavirus, unemployment rates have soared in the USA. Throughout the pandemic, over 45 million people have filed for unemployment benefits. These layoffs have come as a result of lockdowns put in place across the USA, in order to keep as many people as safe as possible. However, although these lockdowns have reduced the spread of the virus (at least slightly), it has forced many businesses to close as they are no longer able to make a profit.
Last week saw the eighteenth week in a row that America saw over 1 million of its residents file for unemployment. However, it is interesting to note that this slightly dipped from the week before, suggesting that job market losses are beginning to stabilize. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the record for weekly claims never went over 700,000.
Although unemployment rates reduced slightly as a whole last week, it is important to note that this varies state by state. In fact, although some states have seen drops in unemployment, some have seen a rise. For example, Arizona has seen a huge surge in people filing for unemployment, with claims having risen for 2 weeks. This is due to Arizona having seen a huge surge in coronavirus cases.
What is the government doing to help?
With so many people affected by the coronavirus, what has the federal government been doing to help?
To help those struggling to make money during lockdown, the government has expanded its eligibility for unemployment benefits to self-employed individuals and independent contractors who have been affected by the pandemic.
It remains to be seen what the US government will do to help those struggling during this pandemic and, indeed, what they will do when the pandemic ends.
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The figures aone highlight how much American people are struggling as a result of the virus. However, they are not out of the woods yet, and it remains to be seen just how much the coronavirus pandemic will have affected the United States of America.