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Coronavirus Quick Hits: The Latest Unemployment Numbers, Questions About Jobs Returning, and More

Here are some of the major coronavirus developments that are making headlines right now . . .

1.  2.4 million more people applied for unemployment last week, bringing the total since the pandemic started to 38.6 million.

The total number of new applications fell for the seventh week in a row . . . but 2.4 million is still higher than any other non-coronavirus week in history.

2.  Georgia pushed hard to be one of the first states to re-open . . . but it hasn’t led to jobs coming back.  In fact, Georgia now has the highest percentage of its workforce applying for unemployment of any state in the country.

That’s a microcosm of a larger problem with “re-opening” . . . whether it’s fast or slow, there’s just no guarantee the jobs are going to come back right away.  And many economists are worried it’s going to take quite a while for jobs to return.

3.  Significantly fewer Americans are avoiding public places.  Back on April 12th, 78% of Americans said they were staying out of public . . . that’s down to 65% as of last week.  21% even say they went to a restaurant.

4.  President Trump agreed with a recommendation from Democratic leaders in Congress to order flags at half-staff this weekend in memory of the Americans who have died from coronavirus.

5.  If you’re wondering who’s posting controversial stuff about coronavirus on social media to get you all fired up . . . yeah, it’s propaganda bots.  A study found almost HALF of the accounts spreading messages about the pandemic are bots.

And the researchers say, quote, “We do know that it looks like it’s a propaganda machine, and it definitely matches the Russian and Chinese playbooks.”

6.  When do you think you’ll be ready to travel again?  10% of people say they want to go somewhere as soon as possible . . . 21% are hopeful they’ll travel by the end of the year . . . and 30% think they won’t go anywhere until next year at the earliest.

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