Corona virus continues to infect the economy

David Heilman, North Campus Staff

Since mid March Covid-19 has racked up over 900,000 confirmed cases within the United States and has claimed the lives of over 50,000 of those infected. In that time regulations have been placed, citizens have become isolated, unemployment has reached records comparable to the Great Depression, and the Stock Market has fallen harder than ever recorded.

The crash began Monday, March 9th a day now referred to as Black Monday. Just under a month after the Dow Jones Industrial Average (the DOW) reached a record high of 29,551.42 the Dow fell a crippling 2,013.76 points or  7.79% closing at 23,851.02. March 12th led to another record dropping 2,352.60 points or 9.99% drop to close at 21,200.62. Finally on March 16th the Dow fell another record breaking 2,997.10 or 12.63% to reach a new closing low of 20,188.52.

According to S&P Dow Jones Indices of the following seven days the four listed are the largest single day point drops in history. Toward the end of the month on March 23, the Dow reached its lowest point of the year closing at 18,591.93 a total loss of about 40% compared to just a month prior. This fall marked the end of an 11 year period of growth for the Dow.

“The 2020 crash eventually occurred because investors were worried about the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.” writes economist Kimberly Amadeo in an article for the balance. Since the initial time of panic the Dow has regained some stability maintaining an overall gain over the month of April to closing out at $23,775.27 on April 24th.

While the Stock Market has made some small signs of recovery the US unemployment rates continue to climb. According to the U.S Labor Department more than 26.5 million employees have filed for unemployment with the average report of around 4.4 million citizens a week since the outbreak began.

Professor of economics Justin Wolfers estimates in an article for the New York Times that the United States may have passed unemployment rates of 13%. This would make it the highest unemployment rate since the great depression surpassing the 12.63% peak unemployment of the economic collapse of 2008.

According to Steven Rattner, former auto-industry czar during the Obama administration “in-store retail spending has decreased 98% and airline travel has plummeted 70%.”

In order to try and offset the staggering loss of spending the U.S. has passed a series of packages totaling over 2 trillion dollars. This includes the most recent package and the largest release package in all of US history. The CARE ACT provides 1.8 trillion dollars of direct aid to individuals and businesses. 

To better get a scale of spending, according to articles from the Heritage Foundation the currently approved packages make up over half of the $3.5 trillion total revenue brought in during 2019. 

The world is balancing a battle across two fronts and it is make it or break it. As we go forward we can hope to gain balance in the minimization of danger to the health of people and the damage brought on to businesses everywhere.