June 10, 2020 – The African American Job Market, Protesting With Healthcare Concerns and Fed Economic Projections.
Today’s newsletter is 1087 words, a 6-minute read. Let’s get to it:
Coronavirus Obliterated The Best African American Job Market on Record
The Covid-19 has caused unparalleled economic fallout affecting many groups. But for African Americans, it wiped out one of the most promising economies of recent memory. The African American unemployment rate nearly tripled in May, according to the Labor Department.
Why It Matters
“Even when unemployment was low, African-Americans’ overall economic situation was fragile. As a group, they had less job security and wealth than whites, leaving them especially vulnerable when the economy shut down. That now weighs on their prospects as the steepest economic contraction since the 1930s shows signs of turning. Historically, African Americans’ recovery from recessions has been much slower than those of other groups,” the Wall Street Journal writes.
The bottom line – recovery will be tough for everyone, but it may be significantly slower for African Americans.
Numbers to Consider
- 16.8 percent – The African American unemployment rate in May.
- 3.5 million – The number of African Americans who lost their jobs in March and April.
- $17,600 – African American families’ net worth in 2016, as compared to $171,000 for white households, according to Federal Reserve data.
Health-Care Workers Say Protests Are Vital Despite Coronavirus Risks
Many health care experts and workers on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic are joining or expressing support of the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in police custody. And while the events are spurring fears of a second wave of the virus, those in public health are saying “the potential benefits of seizing the moment to bring attention to a longstanding issue outweigh the risks of transmission, which are lower outdoors than indoors, especially with precautions,” the Wall Street Journal writes.
Why It Matters
Things are improving in the battle against coronavirus. The United States’ overall case count has declined in recent weeks, and states have begun the reopening process, albeit with restrictions. It’s not necessarily a victory, but the country is much different than it was in March when the bulk of the shutdown occurred. Transmission of the disease is less likely outdoors than inside, and protestors can continue to reduce their risk by wearing masks, staying six feet apart and washing their hands often.
Plus, by addressing systemic racism, the protests are also shedding light on the inequities of the healthcare system. According to Dr. Darrell Gray of Ohio State University, African Americans and other people of color are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. People who have chronic conditions have a higher risk of complications from coronavirus, and African Americans experience higher rates of asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke than white people, according to a 2017 study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Numbers to Consider
- 1,000 – The number of public-health and infectious-disease experts and community stakeholders signing an open letter that labeled the demonstrations as vital.
- 20,000 – The approximate number of African Americans who died of coronavirus.
- 23 percent – How African Americans make up the percentage of total deaths, while they are only 12.5 percent of the U.S. populations, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
U.S. Stock Futures Drift Ahead of Fed’s Economic Projections
How the Federal Reserve reorients monetary policy will dictate the economy’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. As investors await new economic projections from the Fed, U.S. stock futures wobbled Wednesday. Despite a rally into positive territory, U.S. shares receded Tuesday.
While investors do not expect the Fed to significantly alter interest rates or any other policy tools, forecasts could indicate just how bad the government projects the economic crisis. The Fed is set to publish its views at 2 p.m. ET, with Chairman Jerome Powell speaking to the media at 2:30 p.m.
Why It Matters
Observing how the Fed acts and the market’s reaction sheds light on the recent fluctuations. “This rally is simply not born of economic data or even recovery prospects,” said Dwyfor Evans, head of macro strategy for Asia Pacific at State Street Global Markets, according to the Wall Street Journal. “It is really driven by expectations that central banks and governments will be there to back the economic recovery.”
Plus, as the economy starts to stabilize and inches toward recovery, it reveals a glimpse of just how devasting a second wave of coronavirus would be to the global economy. The world is already facing a severe economic contraction.
Number to Consider
- 6 percent – The size of the global economic contraction if a second wave of infections and containment measures can be avoided, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
- 0 – 0.25 percent – The Fed’s target for interest rates after slashing the number in March and introducing a series of programs designed to soften the economic blow of the pandemic.
- 0.829 percent – The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note after Tuesday.
Worth Your Time
CrossFit’s Glassman Steps Down: Reebok, Adidas and hundreds of other CrossFit affiliates and sponsors have all cut ties with CrossFit after founder Greg Glassman made “inflammatory remarks” about the killing of George Floyd. As a result of the backlash, company founder and chief executive Greg Glass has announced his retirement as CrossFit tries to retool its image. (LINK)
Summertime Vaccine Watch: The federal government is taking the reins on the quest to vaccinate Covid-19, funding the studies of three experimental coronavirus vaccines this summer. Candidates developed by Moderna, Oxford University/AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson’s will be put to the test, with each study expected to include around 30,000 people. (LINK)
Rice Market Booms: Because demand for grain has skyrocketed as a result of the pandemic, rice has become one of the fastest-climbing major commodities of recent memory. Is this unique, temporary swell, or is rice growing more valuable? (LINK)
AR’s Potential is Rising Again: Augmented reality has generally failed to live up to its billing as a consumer product. But with a pandemic-driven surge of application on the industrial side, could AR be on the verge of becoming an everyday tool? (LINK)
Starbucks Pivots to Takeout: The coffee empire announced it would close some traditional cafes in favor of takeout-geared locations. Over the next 18 months, the company will renovate or move 400 traditional cafes in North America. (LINK)
A Couple Cents on Social
Watch Justin Oh share his thoughts on Bitcoin and why its “ripping” (LINK)
Learn why Joe Rogan took his $100 million Spotify deal (LINK)
Understand how to bet on the oil market (LINK)
See you tomorrow!
— Justin Birnbaum