These 7 states are showing early signs of a coronavirus job market recovery

The number of jobs lost due to the coronavirus shutdown continue to mount, with the latest weekly total of Americans applying for unemployment benefits coming in near 1.5 million, yet again.

The latest swath of applications brings the total amount of jobless claims to more than 47 million over the past three months, wiping out the 20 million jobs added over the last decade by a two-to-one margin.

Read more: Coronavirus: How to find a job in a tough economy

But some states are beginning to show a recovery from the spike in unemployment applications as coronavirus lockdowns went into effect. A Yahoo Finance review of jobless claims data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that Rhode Island, Michigan, and Vermont have seen the strongest early signs of a bottoming out to a return to normal.

Comparing each state’s average weekly jobless claims totals over the past seven weeks

Read More

Americans ‘are paying the price’ for shoddy coronavirus response, doctor says

The spike in coronavirus cases in parts of the U.S. came as no surprise to many public health experts. 

Arizona, Texas, and Florida are three states, in particular, that reopened their economies sooner than others are seeing record numbers of hospitalizations and cases. 

“We’ve seen a roughly 300% increase in the number of cases statewide, in ICU and hospital usage here in Austin and Houston,” Dr. Pritesh Gandhi, a primary care physician and internal medicine specialist in Austin, Texas, said on Yahoo Finance’s The Ticker (video above). “This is part of that first wave. We just frankly didn’t open in the right way. Didn’t embrace key public health principles and are paying the price for it right now.” 

Coronavirus cases keep climbing outside the U.S. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

‘An absence of leadership’

Houston and Austin are both seeing major surges in hospitalizations, so much so that ICU bed

Read More

Coronavirus outbreak making 2021 health care costs more uncertain than usual

The coronavirus pandemic, which has suppressed health care inflation amid a tumble in elective procedures, is making the cost outlook for the coming year more difficult to predict than usual, according to PwC.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, health insurers reaped significant savings as patients put off elective surgeries that are more lucrative for doctors and hospitals. The shift has resulted in a significant number of premium savings, even as the insurers continue to cover coronavirus tests, inpatient visits and telehealth sessions that have replaced in-person primary care.

While those savings are also being seen in employer-sponsored plans, ongoing coronavirus uncertainty — especially with the resurgence in cases around the country — are likely to impact how risk actuaries calculate costs as premium rate-setting gets under way for 2021.

“You’re going to have a testing question, you’re going to have a vaccine question, you’re going to have a question around

Read More

OpenTable CEO says 25% of America’s restaurants will close for good due to coronavirus

As the world’s largest restaurant reservations platform, OpenTable has unique insight into the recovery restaurants are making as economies start to open back up from coronavirus lockdowns.

Unfortunately, OpenTable data shows the tough road ahead is pointing to the grim reality that up to 25% of restaurants in the U.S. might permanently close due to the pandemic, according to OpenTable and Kayak CEO Steve Hafner.

“Twenty-five percent [of restaurants closing] is still what we’re projecting,” he told Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM, reaffirming his company’s dire projection from back in May despite a recent uptick in restaurant reservations. “Even in the best of times, restaurants operate on really thin margins. So if you add on capacity restrictions, new safety and service protocols, it’s really tough for a restaurant to make it.”

OpenTable data, which comes from a fraction of the nearly 60,000 restaurants around the globe, shows a modest recovery for

Read More

The case for higher wages during coronavirus recession

Raising the minimum wage during the coronavirus pandemic is smart policy, according to the Economic Policy Institute. 

Corporate America is getting slammed by the coronavirus recession. More than 45 million people were cut from their employers’ payrolls over the past three months. Business groups have turned their focus to planned minimum wage increases, pressuring city and state officials to postpone them. 

California’s Chamber of Commerce has asked Governor Gavin Newsom to roll back the planned $1 minimum wage hike planned to take effect in January 2021. The current minimum wage is $12 per hour for businesses with fewer than 26 employees, and $13 for those with more. 

Barring an intervention by officials, the minimum wage in several states is set to increase by $1 or less on July 1 – including Illinois, which will raise its minimum wage from $9.25 to $10, Nevada from $8.25 to $9, and Oregon from

Read More