Coronavirus: Another 4.4 million Americans registered to claim for jobless benefits, a new issue of Covid Economics, and Policy Implications of Models of the Spread of Coronavirus – what I have been reading today

Since I started to carefully study the coronavirus and its associated health and economic consequences in January 2020, I have been reading many news, research articles, and blog posts. I got more and more concerned and I hope that the situation will improve as soon as possible. Let me now regularly share with you some interesting background articles:

For the fifth consecutive week, a very high number (4.4 millions) of Americans filed for first-time unemployment. Two weeks before, initial jobless claims had jumped to 6.6 millions, and one week before, the number was at 5.2 millions. Since the middle of March, a total of around 26 million persons registered for jobless benefits. Although the numbers can be expected to further decrease in the next weeks, they will probably remain high and one can expect that the total since the middle of March will probably exceed 30 millions by the beginning of May.

A so-called V-shaped recovery (so high economic growth after some of the measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus are lifted) is increasingly unlikely, but not completely unrealistic. I expect a subdued recovery. As I mentioned earlier, serious economic forecasts are not possible at the moment. I hope that in early May, I might be in a position to attempt a preliminary assessment of the macroeconomic situation.

Here is the report by the U.S. Department of Labor:

A new issue of “Covid Economics”, a new journal of the Centre of Economic Policy Research, has been published with many interesting articles:

https://cepr.org/content/covid-economics-vetted-and-real-time-papers-0

And a new interesting paper on “Policy Implications of Models of the Spread of Coronavirus: Perspectives and Opportunities for Economists”:

https://www.nber.org/papers/w27007

Let me again recommend the report by the International Labour Organisation. It is argued that “lockdown measures are now affecting almost 2.7 billion workers, representing around 81 per cent of the world’s workforce.” An important international perspective:

https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/WCMS_740877/lang–en/index.htm

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