When will global employment recover from its coronavirus collapse?

In the past six months, the US has gone from its lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, at 3.5 per cent in December, to its highest level since the second world war, at 14.7 per cent in April — and then back down slightly to 13.3 per cent in May. In the UK, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits jumped at the highest rate on record in April. The jarring increases reflect the impact of coronavirus on labour markets around the world. 

As lockdowns around the world begin to lift, many are wondering when employment numbers will start to follow suit — and what the recovery will look like, whether its V-, W- or L-shaped. Just this week, more than 400,000 New Yorkers went back to work as the city entered the first stage of lockdown easing. 

Which industries will begin to recover first? Are government programs really helping

Read More

Coronavirus: US markets fall amid increase in virus cases and fading hopes for quick economic recovery | Business News

US stocks have fallen sharply as hopes of a quick post-virus economic recovery start to fade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 1,800 points (6.9%) in Thursday trading – its worst day since the middle of March, when much of the western world began lockdown restrictions to limit the spread of the virus.

The S&P 500 dropped by 5.9%, its biggest fall since 16 March, and the tech-rich Nasdaq lost almost 5.3%, down by more than 500 points just a day after rising above 10,000 for the first time.

Many analysts had worried that the optimism seen in US markets during recent weeks was not an accurate picture of the challenges facing the economy as it begins to recover from the pandemic.

The S&P 500, for example, had risen by 44.5% between late March and Monday.

But Thursday’s trading hit almost all of the index’s companies: Technology, financial,

Read More

UK in U-turn on full post-Brexit border controls

The British government has abandoned its plan to introduce full border checks with the EU on January 1 as ministers come under mounting pressure from business not to compound the chaos caused by coronavirus.

In a significant policy U-turn, Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, has accepted that businesses cannot be expected to cope with Covid-19 and simultaneously face the prospect of disruption at the border at the end of the post-Brexit transition period.

Instead of full checks, the government will now introduce a temporary light-touch regime at UK ports like Dover for incoming EU goods, under both a deal and “no-deal” scenario.

However, officials concede that goods flowing to the EU from the UK are likely to face full checks as they enter France.

“We recognise the impact that coronavirus has had on UK businesses,” a Whitehall official said. “As we take back control of our laws and borders

Read More

Britain and EU seek to break Brexit deadlock

Boris Johnson has agreed with Brussels on plans to hold “intensified” negotiations to try to unlock an EU/UK trade deal, building up to a moment of reckoning at the end of July. 

A UK government spokesperson said an understanding had been reached with the EU to hold talks every week between June 29 and July 31, breaking away from the previous format of rounds held roughly every three weeks. 

“This new process will involve a mix of formal negotiating rounds and smaller group meetings, both in London and Brussels assuming public health guidelines enable this,” the UK spokesperson said. 

The move reflects calls from both sides for new impetus in the negotiations after the fourth round of talks ended last week in deadlock. David Frost, the UK’s chief negotiator, said at the time that the two sides were “close to reaching the limits of what we can achieve through the

Read More