Global cases near 4mn as job losses wreck US

20.5mn Amer­i­cans lose their jobs in April, but Trump strikes a pos­i­tive note, say­ing jobs will be back

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - SPOTLIGHT - Yashwant Raj yashwant.raj@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Lock­downs forced by the coro­n­avirus pan­demic pushed up un­em­ploy­ment in Amer­ica to a record 14.7% in April, while glob­ally the num­ber of Covid-19 in­fec­tions inched closer to­wards 4 mil­lion.

The eco­nomic dis­tress in Amer­ica deep­ened with an un­prece­dented 20.5 mil­lion peo­ple in the coun­try be­ing left job­less last month, ac­cord­ing to new data re­leased on Fri­day.

It’s the worst cri­sis in the US since the end of World War II. The news has come on a day when the world qui­etly ob­served VE Day to mark the sur­ren­der of Nazi forces in Europe on May 8, 1945.

The pre­vi­ous record of job losses in the US, at 10.4%, was recorded way back in 1948.

An es­ti­mated 33.5 mil­lion peo­ple in the US have al­ready filed for un­em­ploy­ments ben­e­fits over the past six weeks since lock­downs came into ef­fect in mid-March, ac­cord­ing to weekly data re­leased on Thurs­day.

“To­day’s re­port reflects the mas­sive im­pact that mea­sures to con­tain the coro­n­avirus have had on the Amer­i­can work­force,” Eu­gene Scalia, the US labour sec­re­tary, said in a state­ment.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump tried to strike a pos­i­tive note, say­ing the econ­omy will bounce back. “Those jobs will all be back and they’ll be back very soon,” he told Fox News.

PENCE AIDE TESTS +VE

An aide to US vice-pres­i­dent Mike Pence has tested pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus, ac­cord­ing to a CNBC re­port. The de­vel­op­ment came a day af­ter it emerged that Trump’s per­sonal valet had tested pos­i­tive for Covid-19.

The res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease has claimed over 271,000 lives world­wide, with the US be­ing the worsthit na­tion, record­ing over 77,000 deaths.

Fa­tal­i­ties in the coun­try went up by 2,231 in the last 24 hours and the num­ber of con­firmed cases in­creased by 28,420.

AFP

The year’s last ‘su­per­moon’, known as ‘flower moon’ when it is seen in May, sets be­hind the Statue of Lib­erty in NYC on Thurs­day.

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