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Daily COVID-19 Updates: April 16

April 16, 2020
Legislative Hurdles for Virus Aid; Boeing to Resume Puget Sound Producction; 5 Million More Apply for Unemployment Insurance

The Small Business Administration announced today that it had reached its spending limit of $350 billion in loans to small businesses, and that it could not approve any more funding without more money. The CARES Act, which supplied the initial sum, was passed March 30, but additional aid has been held up by negotiations in Congress over aid to hospitals as well as state and local governments.

The cutoff leaves many small business owners without aid, despite the SBA’s nearly 1.7 million loans. According to the Associated Press, some banks are still processing applications and submitting them to the SBA as entrepreneurs appeal for their own loans.

Boeing Announces It Will Resume Puget Sound Production

Roughly a week after resuming defense production operations in the region, Boeing announced it would also restart production at its Puget Sound-region commercial airline plants. The factories, which manufacture the 737, 747, 767, and 777 airplanes will allow 27,000 Boeing employees to return to work, albeit under protocols with advanced cleaning and physical distancing.

In a statement, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stanley Deal said that the “phased approach” to reopening production—Boeing’s South Carolina operations remain closed—would ensure adequate protection and resources for each employee. Deal also said that the health of Boeing’s workers was a “shared priority.” Read the full story here.

Unemployment Continues to Rise as 5 Million Claim Benefits

The latest figures released by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 5,245,000 more Americans filed for unemployment insurance in the week ending April 11. That’s a decrease of 1,370,000 people compared to adjusted claims from the week before. The principal cause, as in the rest of the last four weeks, was layoffs due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

All told, more than 22 million Americans have claimed unemployment benefits since claims spiked in the second half of March. According to economists cited by Reuters, the unemployment rate could reach 20% before the end of the month—the highest it’s been since the Great Depression. The figures only reinforced the IMF’s prediction, earlier this week, that the global economy would slow by 3%, also the most dramatic slowdown since the Great Depression. Read the full story here.

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