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RE:
Kickoff article for this thread.

RE

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/12/coronavirus-impact-on-global-economy-financial-markets-in-6-charts.html

6 charts show the coronavirus impact on the global economy and markets so far

[html]  World Economy 6 charts show the coronavirus impact on the global economy and markets so far Published Wed, Mar 11 20207:34 PM EDT Yen Nee Lee@YenNee_Lee Key Points
* The new coronavirus, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December, has infected more than 110,000 people in at least 110 countries and territories globally, according to the World Health Organization.
* The virus outbreak has become one of the biggest threats to the global economy and financial markets.
* Major institutions and banks have cut their forecasts for the global economy, with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development being one of the latest to do so.
* Meanwhile, fears of the coronavirus impact on the global economy have rocked markets worldwide, with stock prices and bond yields plunging. The ongoing spread of the new coronavirus has become one of the biggest threats to the global economy and financial markets. The virus, first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December, has infected more than 110,000 people in at least 110 countries and territories globally, according to the World Health Organization. Of those infected, more than 4,000 people have died, according to WHO data. China is where majority of the confirmed cases are — more than 80,000 infections have been reported in the mainland so far. To contain the COVID-19 outbreak, Chinese authorities locked down cities, restricted movements of millions and suspended business operations — moves that will slow down the world’s second-largest economy and drag down the global economy along the way. To make things worse, the disease is spreading rapidly around the world, with countries like Italy, Iran and South Korea reporting more than 7,000 cases each. Other European countries like France, Germany and Spain have also seen a recent spike beyond 1,000 cases. watch now VIDEO11:45 What the coronavirus means for business “From an economic perspective, the key issue is not just the number of cases of COVID-19, but the level of disruption to economies from containment measures,” Ben May, head of global macro research at Oxford Economics, said in a report this week. “Widespread lockdowns such as those imposed by China have been enacted in some virus hotspots,” he said, adding that such measures — if taken disproportionately — could induce panic and weaken the global economy even more. Fears of the coronavirus impact on the global economy have rocked markets worldwide, plunging stock prices and bond yields. Here are six charts that show the impact the outbreak has had on the global economy and markets so far. Downgrades in economic forecasts The outbreak has led major institutions and banks to cut their forecasts for the global economy. One of the latest to do so is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. In a March report, the OECD said it downgraded its 2020 growth forecasts for almost all economies. China’s gross domestic product growth saw the largest downgrade in terms of magnitude, according to the report. The Asian economic giant is expected to grow by 4.9% this year, slower than the earlier forecast of 5.7%, said OECD. Meanwhile, the global economy is expected to grow by 2.4% in 2020 — down from the 2.9% projected earlier, said the report. Slowdown in manufacturing activity The manufacturing sector in China has been hit hard by the virus outbreak. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index — a survey of private companies — showed that China’s factory activity contracted in February, coming in at a record-low reading of 40.3. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. Such a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing has hurt countries with close economic links to China, many of which are Asia Pacific economies such as Vietnam, Singapore and South Korea.   Factories in China are taking longer than expected to resume operations, several analysts said. That, along with a rapid spread of COVID-19 outside China, means that global manufacturing activity could remain subdued for longer, economists said. Services contraction The virus outbreak in China has also hit the country’s services industry as reduced consumer spending hurt retail stores, restaurants and aviation among others.   The Caixin/Markit Services PMI for China came in at just 26.5 in February, the first drop below the 50-point level since the survey began almost 15 years ago. China is not the only country where the services sector has weakened. The services sector in the U.S., the world’s largest consumer market, also contracted in February, according to IHS Markit, which compiles the monthly PMI data. One reason behind the U.S. services contraction was a reduction in “new business from abroad as customers held back from placing orders amid global economic uncertainty and the coronavirus outbreak,” said IHS Markit. Declining oil prices A reduction in global economic activity has lowered the demand for oil, taking oil prices to multi-year lows. That happened even before a disagreement on production cuts between OPEC and its allies caused the latest plunge in oil prices. Analysts from Singaporean bank DBS said reduced oil demand from the virus outbreak and an expected increase in supply are a “double whammy” for oil markets. China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, is the world’s largest crude oil importer. “The spread of the virus in Italy and other parts of Europe is particularly worrying and will likely dampen demand in OECD countries as well,” the DBS analysts wrote in a report. Stock market rout Fear surrounding the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy has hurt investor sentiment and brought down stock prices in major markets. Cedric Chehab, head of country risk and global strategy at Fitch Solutions, said there are three ways the coronavirus outbreak could work its way through sentiment in markets. “We have identified three channels through which the COVID-19 outbreak was going to weigh on markets so that’s the slowdown in China, the slowdown from domestic outbreaks … and the third channel was financial markets stress,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” this week. Lower bond yields Concerns over the global spread of the new coronavirus has also driven investors to bid up bond prices, resulting in yields in major economies to inch lower. U.S. Treasurys, which are backed by the American government, are considered safe haven assets that investors tend to flee to in times of market volatility and uncertainty. Yields on all of the U.S. Treasury contracts fell below 1% in the past week — a development not seen before. The benchmark 10-year contract also touched its historic low of around 0.3%.  Such compression in U.S. Treasury yields could prompt the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates once again, several analysts said. The U.S. central bank made an emergency cut of 50 basis points last week, bringing its target funds rate to 1% to 1.25%. “We believe that the Fed is cognizant that it has limited policy space for conventional cuts today versus past recessions, and will look to move more aggressively and ahead of market expectations to extract the maximum efficacy from its rate cuts,” strategists at Bank of Singapore wrote in a note.   Trending Now The psychology of stockpiling: Why people are panic buying toilet paper Trump suspends travel from Europe for 30 days as part of response to ‘foreign’ coronavirus Dow futures drop 900 points as Trump speech disappoints investors Up to 150 million in US are expected to contract the coronavirus, congressional doctor says World Health Organization declares the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic by Taboola Sponsored Links FROM THE WEB Wells Fargo $400 Welcome Bonus Offer. Learn MoreWells Fargo - Member FDIC Before You Renew Amazon Prime, Read ThisWikibuy MORE FROM CNBC Here’s why people are panic buying and stockpiling toilet paper to cope with coronavirus fears Doctor who treated first US coronavirus patient says COVID-19 has been ‘circulating unchecked’ for weeks New Jersey declares state of emergency as coronavirus cases surged in tri-state area, Italy extends its quarantine to the e… CDC tells people over 60 or who have chronic illnesses like diabetes to stock up on goods and buckle down for a length… It takes an average of 5 days for coronavirus symptoms to show, new study says Elon Musk says ‘the coronavirus panic is dumb’ as tech peers shift to remote work    by Taboola  FROM THE WEB Before You Renew Amazon Prime, Read This Sponsored  :Wikibuy Thinking About Buying An Electric Car? See Search Results For Electric SUV Vehicles For Sale. Sponsored  :Yahoo! Search Unsold 2019 SUVs On Sale Below MSRP Sponsored  :Cars | Search Ads MORE IN WORLD ECONOMY Central banks in emerging markets face a ‘dilemma’ after oil prices plunge, says analystYen Nee Lee China invokes ‘force majeure’ to protect businesses — but the companies may be in for a ‘rude awakening’Huileng Tan Activity in China has returned and it’s still a ‘long way from normal’: ANZ
AN HOUR AGO Trump should ‘get rid of tariffs,’ says retail industry bodyYen Nee Lee 3 HOURS AGO Oil prices are going ‘much lower from here’, says expert
3 HOURS AGO    by Taboola  FROM THE WEB These Shades Can Help Transform Your Bedroom Sponsored  :hunterdouglas.com 5 Scarf Ties We Love This Spring Sponsored  :White House Black Market These Crossovers Will Take Your Breath Away. Research 2020 Luxury Crossover Vehicle Deals Sponsored :Crossovers | Yahoo Search 9 Thrilling Luxury Cars for Seniors Sponsored :Luxury Vehicles | Search Ads If You’re Over 40 and Own a PC This Game is a Must Sponsored :Throne Kingdom at War MORE FROM CNBC Trump calls emergency meeting with top health officials at White House, lawmaker saysBerkeley Lovelace Jr.,Noah Higgins-Dunn,Kevin Breuninger 17 HOURS AGO Current US coronavirus cases are ‘just the tip of the iceberg,’ former USAID director saysWilliam Feuer Coronavirus could financially cripple many AmericansGreg Iacurci Top financial advisory firm warns clients about coronavirus ‘complacency’ in CongressBrian Schwartz

RE:
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/16/millions-of-americans-could-lose-their-jobs-in-a-coronavirus-recession.html

Millions of Americans could lose their jobs in a coronavirus recession. Many won’t get severance pay
Published Mon, Mar 16 202010:00 AM EDTUpdated Mon, Mar 16 202012:06 PM EDT
Greg Iacurci    @GregIacurci


Key Points

    The typical post-World War II recession has seen the U.S. unemployment rate increase about 2 to 2.5 percentage points.
    That would translate to about 3.5 million jobs being lost in today’s environment, according to David Wilcox, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    Companies aren’t required by federal law to pay severance to employees they lay off. Those that do have widely diverging pay practices.

GP: layoffs laid off unemployment man with box
Daniel Grill | Tetra Images | Getty Images

The odds of slipping into a recession are increasingly likely as the global coronavirus outbreak puts acute stress on the U.S. economy. That could be bad news for American workers, who may lose jobs by the millions in a downturn.

For those workers who don’t receive severance pay, the financial impact could be especially devastating.

“It’s really hard to predict how it’s going to play out,” said Wayne Outten, founder and chair of Outten & Golden, an employment law firm in New York, of the coronavirus fallout. “The ripple effect can be dramatic in so many different industries.”

The coronavirus, which causes a disease officially known as COVID-19, has spread rapidly around the globe since it originated in China late last year. More than 169,000 people have been infected worldwide, and more than 6,500 have died.

Financial markets have cratered. American life has come to a screeching halt, as schools and cultural institutions have closed, sports leagues have suspended their seasons, major events have been canceled and state officials have moved to ban large gatherings. Officials from major cities like New York have ordered bars and restaurants to close to limit community spread.

Economic cracks are beginning to emerge. Small-business owners are starting to report supply chain problems and lost sales. The travel industry is reeling. Big oil and gas companies are slashing spending and cutting dividends amid a plunge in crude prices. Consumer spending has fallen as Americans pull back from their daily routines.

The coronavirus fallout has been so dramatic that many economists think the U.S. is headed for a recession. Some economists believe the recession has already begun.

“I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if when we look back at the data, it is decided ... that the recession started in March,” Blinder, a former Federal Reserve vice chairman and now a professor at Princeton, told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.”
Yellow Dog Productions
Financial backstop lacking

Some reports have emerged that layoffs have already begun in businesses across the country.

Many workers don’t have an adequate financial backstop in layoff situations, experts said.

Half of U.S. adults expected to be living paycheck to paycheck this year and 53% did not have an emergency fund that covers at least three months of expenses, according to a financial planning survey conducted prior to the coronavirus outbreak by First National Bank of Omaha in Nebraska.

Federal law doesn’t require American companies to pay severance in the event of layoffs, leaving it up to the discretion of business owners.
It’s really hard to predict how it’s going to play out.
Wayne Outten
founder and chair of Outten & Golden

A new law signed earlier this year made New Jersey the first state to require large employers to pay severance during mass layoffs.

The state mandates businesses pay a week of severance for each year of service, and that employers give 90 days’ notice — more than the federally mandated 60 days for some types of businesses. It applies to businesses with 100 or more full- or part-time workers laying off at least 50 people.

A large share — 90% — of businesses pay some type of severance to their employees, according to a 2019 survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson. However, that figure masks wide variations in how employers treat different types of workers.

For one, while some companies may pay several weeks of severance, others have more lax policies.
VIDEO05:11
Global coronavirus cases now exceed 135,000—Four experts on what happens next

More than half of businesses — 56% — also don’t extend severance pay to all employees, according to a survey from RiseSmart, a human resources consulting firm.

Most of the benefits tend to go to higher-ranking employees instead of rank-and-file workers. Around 40% of officers, senior executives and managers are eligible for severance, whereas that’s only true for 19% of administrative and clerical workers, according to RiseSmart.

Nearly 40% of companies also require at least a five-year tenure for workers to qualify for any type of severance benefit, RiseSmart found.

More from Personal Finance
Mnuchin may suspend student loan payments amid coronavirus
Wharton uses coronavirus pandemic as a learning opportunity
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And while the vast majority of companies pay some sort of severance to their full-time salaried employees, that’s only true for half of hourly part-time employees and three-quarters of hourly full-time workers, according to Willis Towers Watson.

“I think the odds are now heavily weighted toward there being a recession,” according to David Wilcox, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “That’s a not a sure thing at this point, but I think it’s better than an even-odds bet.”

To be sure, government officials are trying to head off economic disaster. President Donald Trump on Friday declared a state of emergency, which frees up financial resources to assist Americans affected by the outbreak.
VIDEO04:18
Recession hasn’t fully been priced in, yet, says economist

The Federal Reserve slashed interested rates to zero over the weekend in an attempt to limit the economic damage — a measure not taken since the 2008 financial crisis. The House of Representatives passed a bill early Saturday morning aimed at offering aid to individuals struggling financially due to the coronavirus crisis. The Senate hasn’t yet scheduled a vote on the bill, which includes provisions around expanded unemployment insurance and paid sick leave.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that the state would waive the seven-day waiting period for unemployment insurance. He also told utilities not to cut off electricity, gas or water service to those unable to pay their bills.
3.5 million jobs

The typical post-World War II recession has led the unemployment rate to increase about 2 to 2.5 percentage points, Wilcox said.

An economic downturn due to the coronavirus would put an abrupt end to the longest-running expansion in U.S. history. If it were like an average recession, it would translate to a roughly 6% unemployment rate (given today’s 3.5% rate, which is near 50-year lows).
VIDEO05:50
What is a pandemic?

That would mean about 3.5 million lost jobs, Wilcox said.

Recessions are often defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth in gross domestic product, a measure of the country’s output.

During the country’s last recession — the Great Recession, the worst downturn since the Great Depression — about 8 million Americans lost their jobs.

Job loss during recessions doesn’t all come via layoffs, Wilcox said.

And rather than reducing the size of their workforce, businesses could instead cut employees’ hours and overtime pay. That approach could still strain workers’ finances but wouldn’t leave them jobless.
Uneven impact

Recessions don’t impact Americans uniformly — workers in certain industries, such as hospitality, restaurants and food services, which tend to employ many younger workers under 40, are more likely than others to be laid off in the event of recession, according to Carter Price, a senior mathematician at the Rand Corp.

Minorities and Americans with less education also tend to lose their jobs with greater frequency during recessions, Wilcox said.

“The economic cost, the burden of a recession, is very unequally distributed,” he said.
VIDEO06:50
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    A view of an American Airlines ticket counter in Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) on March 13, 2020 in Dallas, Texas.
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Millions of Americans could lose their jobs in a coronavirus recession. Many won’t get severance pay
Published Mon, Mar 16 202010:00 AM EDTUpdated Mon, Mar 16 202012:06 PM EDT
Greg Iacurci
@GregIacurci
Key Points

    The typical post-World War II recession has seen the U.S. unemployment rate increase about 2 to 2.5 percentage points.
    That would translate to about 3.5 million jobs being lost in today’s environment, according to David Wilcox, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    Companies aren’t required by federal law to pay severance to employees they lay off. Those that do have widely diverging pay practices.

GP: layoffs laid off unemployment man with box
Daniel Grill | Tetra Images | Getty Images

The odds of slipping into a recession are increasingly likely as the global coronavirus outbreak puts acute stress on the U.S. economy. That could be bad news for American workers, who may lose jobs by the millions in a downturn.

For those workers who don’t receive severance pay, the financial impact could be especially devastating.

“It’s really hard to predict how it’s going to play out,” said Wayne Outten, founder and chair of Outten & Golden, an employment law firm in New York, of the coronavirus fallout. “The ripple effect can be dramatic in so many different industries.”

The coronavirus, which causes a disease officially known as COVID-19, has spread rapidly around the globe since it originated in China late last year. More than 169,000 people have been infected worldwide, and more than 6,500 have died.

Financial markets have cratered. American life has come to a screeching halt, as schools and cultural institutions have closed, sports leagues have suspended their seasons, major events have been canceled and state officials have moved to ban large gatherings. Officials from major cities like New York have ordered bars and restaurants to close to limit community spread.

Economic cracks are beginning to emerge. Small-business owners are starting to report supply chain problems and lost sales. The travel industry is reeling. Big oil and gas companies are slashing spending and cutting dividends amid a plunge in crude prices. Consumer spending has fallen as Americans pull back from their daily routines.

The coronavirus fallout has been so dramatic that many economists think the U.S. is headed for a recession. Some economists believe the recession has already begun.

“I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if when we look back at the data, it is decided ... that the recession started in March,” Blinder, a former Federal Reserve vice chairman and now a professor at Princeton, told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.”
Yellow Dog Productions
Financial backstop lacking

Some reports have emerged that layoffs have already begun in businesses across the country.

Many workers don’t have an adequate financial backstop in layoff situations, experts said.

Half of U.S. adults expected to be living paycheck to paycheck this year and 53% did not have an emergency fund that covers at least three months of expenses, according to a financial planning survey conducted prior to the coronavirus outbreak by First National Bank of Omaha in Nebraska.

Federal law doesn’t require American companies to pay severance in the event of layoffs, leaving it up to the discretion of business owners.
It’s really hard to predict how it’s going to play out.
Wayne Outten
founder and chair of Outten & Golden

A new law signed earlier this year made New Jersey the first state to require large employers to pay severance during mass layoffs.

The state mandates businesses pay a week of severance for each year of service, and that employers give 90 days’ notice — more than the federally mandated 60 days for some types of businesses. It applies to businesses with 100 or more full- or part-time workers laying off at least 50 people.

A large share — 90% — of businesses pay some type of severance to their employees, according to a 2019 survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson. However, that figure masks wide variations in how employers treat different types of workers.

For one, while some companies may pay several weeks of severance, others have more lax policies.
VIDEO05:11
Global coronavirus cases now exceed 135,000—Four experts on what happens next

More than half of businesses — 56% — also don’t extend severance pay to all employees, according to a survey from RiseSmart, a human resources consulting firm.

Most of the benefits tend to go to higher-ranking employees instead of rank-and-file workers. Around 40% of officers, senior executives and managers are eligible for severance, whereas that’s only true for 19% of administrative and clerical workers, according to RiseSmart.

Nearly 40% of companies also require at least a five-year tenure for workers to qualify for any type of severance benefit, RiseSmart found.

More from Personal Finance
Mnuchin may suspend student loan payments amid coronavirus
Wharton uses coronavirus pandemic as a learning opportunity
What to ask before making any investment moves as market falls

And while the vast majority of companies pay some sort of severance to their full-time salaried employees, that’s only true for half of hourly part-time employees and three-quarters of hourly full-time workers, according to Willis Towers Watson.

“I think the odds are now heavily weighted toward there being a recession,” according to David Wilcox, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “That’s a not a sure thing at this point, but I think it’s better than an even-odds bet.”

To be sure, government officials are trying to head off economic disaster. President Donald Trump on Friday declared a state of emergency, which frees up financial resources to assist Americans affected by the outbreak.
VIDEO04:18
Recession hasn’t fully been priced in, yet, says economist

The Federal Reserve slashed interested rates to zero over the weekend in an attempt to limit the economic damage — a measure not taken since the 2008 financial crisis. The House of Representatives passed a bill early Saturday morning aimed at offering aid to individuals struggling financially due to the coronavirus crisis. The Senate hasn’t yet scheduled a vote on the bill, which includes provisions around expanded unemployment insurance and paid sick leave.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that the state would waive the seven-day waiting period for unemployment insurance. He also told utilities not to cut off electricity, gas or water service to those unable to pay their bills.
3.5 million jobs

The typical post-World War II recession has led the unemployment rate to increase about 2 to 2.5 percentage points, Wilcox said.

An economic downturn due to the coronavirus would put an abrupt end to the longest-running expansion in U.S. history. If it were like an average recession, it would translate to a roughly 6% unemployment rate (given today’s 3.5% rate, which is near 50-year lows).
VIDEO05:50
What is a pandemic?

That would mean about 3.5 million lost jobs, Wilcox said.

Recessions are often defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth in gross domestic product, a measure of the country’s output.

During the country’s last recession — the Great Recession, the worst downturn since the Great Depression — about 8 million Americans lost their jobs.

Job loss during recessions doesn’t all come via layoffs, Wilcox said.

And rather than reducing the size of their workforce, businesses could instead cut employees’ hours and overtime pay. That approach could still strain workers’ finances but wouldn’t leave them jobless.
Uneven impact

Recessions don’t impact Americans uniformly — workers in certain industries, such as hospitality, restaurants and food services, which tend to employ many younger workers under 40, are more likely than others to be laid off in the event of recession, according to Carter Price, a senior mathematician at the Rand Corp.

Minorities and Americans with less education also tend to lose their jobs with greater frequency during recessions, Wilcox said.

“The economic cost, the burden of a recession, is very unequally distributed,” he said.
VIDEO06:50

RE:
Color me not surprised.  ::)

RE

https://www.vox.com/2020/3/17/21183388/coronavirus-paid-sick-leave-family-covid-19

Millions of American workers are left out of the coronavirus paid leave bill

Republicans have insisted on changes that would leave out even more workers.

By Anna North Mar 17, 2020, 4:20pm EDT

Construction workers at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, in October 2019. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
One of the biggest problems facing the United States during the coronavirus pandemic is a lack of paid leave for workers.

Even though health officials recommend that anyone who feels sick stay home from work to help slow the spread of the virus, many Americans risk losing pay — or their jobs — if they stay home. And with schools and daycare centers closed across the country, many parents have few job protections if they take time off to care for their kids.

Congress aimed to fix that this week with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was supposed to help workers across the country take care of themselves and their loved ones in this time of national crisis. President Trump even praised the bill on Saturday, citing “good teamwork” between Democrats and Republicans.

But after amendments by Republicans on Monday, the bill could leave out millions of Americans who work for small businesses. The amendments also limited paid family leave to parents dealing with school closures — leaving out people who need to stay home because a family member was exposed to the virus or is displaying symptoms.

Overall, the bill — which is expected to pass in the Senate — may solve some of the glaring problems with the American social safety net that the coronavirus crisis has exposed. But the fact that so many workers and situations aren’t covered “adds up to a giant individual health and financial security risk, as well as a giant community health risk,” Vicki Shabo, a senior fellow for paid leave policy and strategy, at the New America Foundation’s Better Life Lab, told Vox.

As much as health experts and government officials are telling Americans to stay home right now to avoid spreading the virus, “people literally cannot necessarily afford to do that,” Shabo said. “We all pay the price.”
Republicans created loopholes in the new sick-leave bill that could hang employees out to dry

Nearly 200 countries around the world guarantee paid sick leave to workers, according to PRI. As Vox’s Dylan Scott notes, it’s often seen as an issue of simple justice: People shouldn’t lose their jobs or income just because they get sick. But the US isn’t among those 200 countries, and large swathes of American workers lack paid time off — for example, just 27 percent of those whose wages fall in the bottom 10 percent in the country have access to sick leave.

That’s always been a public health risk as well as an individual one, and now it’s even more so, since coronavirus spreads easily from person to person and experts say one of the best ways to contain it is for everyone — especially the sick — to keep their distance.

That’s why guaranteeing some form of paid sick leave has been a big priority for lawmakers in this time. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act does that, guaranteeing two weeks of paid sick leave to people who are sick or quarantined because of Covid-19, as well as caregivers for family members who are sick.

But there are big exceptions. Businesses with more than 500 employees are exempt — something the White House and congressional Republicans demanded before they would support the bill, according to the New York Times. This includes corporations like McDonald’s and Amazon, which employ millions (though many of those corporations have said they will voluntarily provide paid sick time during the crisis).

And now because of amendments introduced on Monday — also under pressure from Republicans — the bill now also exempts businesses with fewer than 50 employees and many health care providers, if the Labor Department determines that offering paid leave “would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern,” the Times reports.

About 59 million Americans work for businesses with more than 500 employees, according to the Times, and about 6.5 million of them have no paid sick days. Meanwhile, 12 million Americans working at small businesses have no paid sick leave. These workers could be forced to choose between following CDC recommendations and keeping their jobs. (That’s not counting the roughly 16 million workers who are self-employed, including gig economy workers.)

The bill was also supposed to address family leave, a crucial issue as parents nationwide are now without a source of child care as thousands of schools close. And the current version of the bill will provide 12 weeks of paid leave total to parents of children whose schools are closed, at 67 percent of the worker’s normal pay, up to $200 a day.

But small and large businesses are also exempted from this provision, leaving their employees potentially without benefits. Meanwhile, an earlier version of the bill allowed workers to take paid time off to care for a family member with symptoms or who had been exposed to the virus, but this portion was also removed during the amendment process.

The new version of the bill also allows employers to designate employees as necessary health care personnel and exempt them from paid benefits. And yet “there’s no accommodation for child care in this bill for those workers, and there’s also obviously a public health concern with having health providers and emergency responders potentially going to work after having been exposed to and exhibiting symptoms of the virus,” Shabo said.

Overall, the bill does move toward solving some of the problems laid bare by the coronavirus epidemic, and keeping workers and their families safe. But, Shabo said, the exemptions in the legislation show that “we’re still a nation of haves and have-nots when it comes to access to paid sick time and paid family and medical leave.”

JRM:
Would house and apartment rental rates adjust downward with mass unemployment?  Or would mass unemployment eventually lead to mass homelessness among renters?

Eddie:
That's a good question. Most rental homes are also somebody's investment, and most of them have a mortgage.

 No rent equates to no money for the landlord to pay his obligations. Since the short term approach has been for the government to reassure everyone there will be no evictions, it is the owners who might be affected first. If the banks foreclose and then own your rental, expect to get no quarter. I've had a bank for a landlord, it sucks.....and the government is not a good landlord either. Au contraire.

In general it is best if all parties can be cut a little slack.....and I hope that's the case. But renters and homeowners could end up being evicted.

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