Unemployment surges to 4.4%, NYC surpasses 50K cases

The coronavirus pandemic surged past 1.03 million cases and 54,000 deaths Friday. The U.S. leads the world, with more than 257,000 cases and more than 6,500 deaths.

New York City surpassed 50,000 cases Friday, putting it far ahead of other major cities as a center of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

During a press briefing Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated that non-coronavirus patients are starting to be transferred to the U.S.N.S. Comfort, a move to alleviate pressure on the city’s hospital system.

The state is tracking the needs of hospitals nightly — shifting resources as necessary across the state— as more regions see an increase in cases.

Cuomo said the state is still asking for federal aid and that it should receive supplies before other states as it is in the heat of the battle.

“Each state has to help every other state as we go along,” Cuomo said, equating it to responses from other states for natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes.

“This is that on a macro scale. New York is in crisis, help New York.”

U.S. coronavirus cases. Graphic by David Foster.


A shocking jobs report Friday, the lowest single-month drop since September 2010 at 700,000, sent markets into the red early in the trading session.

[Read more: March jobs report: U.S. economy loses 701,000 payrolls, unemployment rate jumps to 4.4%]

“The weekly initial jobless claims data suggest the ‘true’ unemployment rate is already closer to 10%, and that we should be braced for a decline in payrolls of up to 10 million in April,” Capital Economics senior US economist Andrew Hunter said in a note Friday.

Throughout the day, more companies reported layoffs and furloughs.

Under Armor announced it will temporarily layoff U.S. store employees, as well as 600 workers in distribution centers, starting April 12. The board of directors will take a 25% compensation cut and top executives will take a 25% salary cut.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) said it will furlough a majority of store employees and some corporate employees until at least May 2, while stores remain closed. In addition, executives, including CEO Mark Tritton, are temporarily taking a 30% cut in their salaries. The board chairman and other independent directors will forgo 30% of their quarterly cash compensation.

James McCann, senior global economist at Aberdeen Standard Investments, told Yahoo Finance Friday the build back from the enormous job loss this month is likely to be slow. “If we continue to see infections increase, we could see labor deteriorate for a long time,” said. “Some of these jobs may come back, but I don’t think all of them do. This is causing long-term damage to the economy.

Anjalee Khemlani is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @AnjKhem

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