June 25, 2020
A man walks past a retail store that is going out of business due to the coronavirus pandemic in Winnetka, Ill., Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Illinois Gov. J.B Pritzker announced a package of state grant programs that will help support communities and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and unrest in the area.
WASHINGTON — The number of laid-off workers seeking U.S. unemployment aid barely fell last week, and the reopening of small businesses has leveled off — evidence that the job market's gains may have stalled just as a surge in coronavirus cases is endangering an economic recovery. The government also reported Thursday the economy contracted at a 5% annual rate in the first three months of the year, a further sign of the damage being inflicted by the viral pandemic. The economy is expected to shrink at a roughly 30% rate in the current quarter. That would be the worst quarterly contraction, by far, since record-keeping began in 1948. Economists do expect a snap-back in the second half of the year, though not enough to reverse all the damage.