Jobless claims expected to number into the millions — again
The number of new unemployment claims reported by the U.S. government on Thursday will likely continue to drop, but it’s still expected to reach the millions as the economic toll from the coronavirus ticks on. Economists estimate the Labor Department report will reflect that between 2.3 million and 2.8 million Americans filed initial applications for unemployment insurance last week. That’s down from the 3 million who filed claims the week before and the record 6.9 million who filed in late March. But if the latest tally matches estimates, it will mean a staggering 39 million have applied for unemployment in just nine weeks, the highest jobless rate since the Great Depression.
Find out the latest on the stimulus package, unemployment benefits and why you still can’t find toilet paper after 10 a.m. at most stores.
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Trump to visit Michigan plant that makes ventilators for coronavirus
President Donald Trump on Thursday isscheduled to tour a Ford Motor Co. plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, that is making ventilators for the coronavirus crisis. It’s the latest stop on his campaign to showcase companies producing equipment needed to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. The automaker and GE Healthcare announced plans in March to produce 50,000 ventilators in the next 100 days. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, doctors often complained about a shortage of ventilators. The U.S. now has a surplus of breathing machines, according to Trump. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office said Trump’s visit contradicts rules she put in place to combat the spread of coronavirus, but she will not try to stop it. Trump will make the visit to the Michigan plant despite about 10,000 people being told to evacuate their homes after floodwaters caused two dams to fail following heavy rain across the state.
President Donald Trump says his administration with help Michigan following two dam breaks that led to severe flooding and evacuations. (May 20)
Graceland reopens to visitors with masks and temperature screening
Graceland, Elvis Presley’s Memphis mansion, will reopen Thursday for the first time since March 20. Not surprisingly, the coronavirus pandemic is driving changes in the way visitors see the home of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll:
- The mansion tour capacity will be reduced to 25% to allow for social distancing,
- Shuttles and restaurants will operate at half capacity.
- Staff will be required to wear face coverings, and visitors will be encouraged to.
- Visitors and employees will have their temperature checked, and no one with a temperature of 100.4 degrees will be permitted to enter.
- Cleaning will take place continuously, including with UV light sanitizer wands.
Presley purchased the estate in 1957 and served as his home until his death in 1977. The house opened to the public in June 1982 and, with between 500,000 and 750,000 tourists per year, is the second most-visited house in the U.S., after the White House.
Vanderbilt researchers predict the coronavirus outbreak in Tennessee will plateau at its current level of about 300 hospitalization and that’s thanks to social distancing.
Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to be released from prison
Michael Cohen is set to be released from a New York federal prison Thursday to serve the remainder of his term at home amid coronavirus fears, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer who is serving a three-year sentence, had been held at a prison camp in Otisville, New York. More than two dozen inmates and officers have been infected with the virus at the prison facility. Cohen had been set for early release in April, but moving him to home confinement has been delayed.
Attorney General William Barr has ordered the release of vulnerable inmates from three federal prisons.
Mortgage delinquencies surged in April, the biggest monthly jump ever
Delinquencies among borrowers for past-due mortgages surged by 1.6 million in April, the largest single-month jump in history, a report released Thursday finds. Some 3.6 million homeowners were past due on their mortgages at the end of April including the roughly 211,000 who were in foreclosure, the most since January 2015, according to Black Knight, a mortgage data analytics company. The CARES Act, passed in March, allows homeowners to suspend their mortgage payments for up to a year on federally-backed mortgages. But it doesn’t protect mortgages that aren’t backed by the government, which make up about half of all mortgages in the U.S. In the top 100 largest metropolitan areas, Miami (7.2%), Las Vegas (6.2%) and New York City (5.4%) topped the list for cities with the largest delinquency increases.
The federal government CARES Act and various cities and banks are offering relief. Here’s what you should know.
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