(Bloomberg) — Before the coronavirus closed most of the U.S. economy, Ginessi Ortiz was a cashier at a shoe store. Her father made deliveries for a construction company, her brother was employed at a community center and her mother had babysitting jobs.
Now they’ve all been laid off. For Ortiz, 19, and her 24-year-old brother, it’s a setback for people already in one of the toughest places for young adults to advance: the Bronx.
New York’s 15th Congressional District, where Ortiz lives with her family, offers the worst economic prospects in the U.S. for residents ages 18 to 34 years old, according to a new index compiled by Bloomberg. By contrast, the district with the second-best prospects is just a few miles away: New York’s 12th, which includes parts of eastern Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.
Data for the Bloomberg Disenfranchised Youth Index come from 2018 U.S. Census statistics, the most recent available. Criteria are the share of young adults who were unemployed, living with a parent, stuck in poverty and lacking a high school diploma that year. Each metric was calculated separately and weighted equally to create an overall score.
The data show exactly where young people were left behind in the 11-year expansion and job-market boom that now has come to a crashing halt. As Covid-19 spreads, the disenfranchised contagion also is likely to spread beyond the demographics captured by the index.
Areas represented by Democrats dominated both extremes, including 19 of the 20 worst-ranking Congressional Districts and 16 of the 20 at the top.
Mississippi’s 2nd, in the western part of the state, and California’s 21st, in the San Joaquin Valley, rounded out the bottom three. Illinois’s 5th, which includes portions of Chicago, and California’s 12th, which covers most of San Francisco and is represented by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, joined New York’s 12th as the least disenfranchised.
Unemployment for young people 16 to 24 was 12.7% in December, near a record low. But in April it spiked to 32.7%, more than twice the national rate of 14.7%, which was the highest since the 1930s.
Ryan Bree, a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi, “wasn’t really worried about anything before the virus. With the unemployment rate being so low, I thought my job security would be fine,” he says.
Bree has a job lined up at a commercial real estate company in his home state of Delaware, and as of this week it hadn’t rescinded the offer or moved the start date. Even so, he was starting to “worry a little bit because a lot of local businesses around me, they’re getting hit hard due to lack of cash flow.”
The index reflects a rise in young people’s financial reliance on their mothers and fathers for housing and other expenses, even in affluent areas. In parts of New York’s suburban Westchester County and the north and south shores of Long Island, more than half of 18-to-34-year-olds live with a parent.
A similar trend can be seen in Fairfax, Virginia, a wealthy suburb of Washington D.C., where more than a third of young adults are still at home despite low levels of poverty, high educational attainment and relatively robust youth employment.
Ortiz and her brother live with their parents, and while they all had some money saved, “it’s starting to catch up with us, paying personal bills and credit cards and the family mobile-phone bill,” she says. Her brother’s employer continues to pay him, and she was able to get unemployment benefits, but her father wasn’t.
A couple of relatives even left New York to work on farms in the south because they haven’t received any government help. “They just can’t wait and sit around for everything to open back up because we don’t know when this is going to end.”
Ortiz is getting her associate’s degree from the Borough of Manhattan Community College and wants eventually to join the police force and become a narcotics detective, partly because she’s “always lived in a bad neighborhood,” she says.
“There’s not a day when I don’t walk home and see needles” on the street from heroin use and people who are “barely even conscious. It’s like they’re half dead and half alive,” she says. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to change.”
To access the full data set for all congressional districts, click here.
Methodology: Bloomberg’s Disenfranchised Youth Index examined some of the collective characteristics of the 18-to-34-year-old age group by Congressional District.
Each district was scored, based on these four equally weighted metrics, on a scale of 0-100:
** 1. share of those in the labor force but unemployed
** 2. share living with a parent
** 3. share living in poverty
** 4. share without high school degree
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Trudeau to offer premiers billions to help reopen the economy safely – CTV News
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to offer premiers billions in federal funding to help them safely reopen provincial and territorial economies without triggering an explosive second wave of COVID-19 cases.
Trudeau is expected to present the offer to premiers during their weekly conference call today — the twelfth such call since the pandemic sent the country into lockdown in mid-March.
Precise details, including how to allocate each province’s share of the cash, are to be negotiated in the coming days, but federal officials hope agreements can be reached quickly to get the money flowing fast.
The offer comes with some strings attached, according to federal officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Trudeau is offering to transfer the money to provincial and territorial governments, provided they agree to spend it on a number of areas the federal government considers necessary to reduce the risk of a second surge of the deadly coronavirus.
They include testing, contact tracing, personal protective equipment, bolstering municipalities, helping the most vulnerable Canadians and strengthening the health care system, possibly including improving conditions in long-term care homes linked to more than 80 per cent of the deaths in Canada so far.
Making a difference in just one of those areas — municipalities — is a pricey proposition. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities estimates communities across the country, which have been on the front lines of the pandemic, need $10-15 billion to make up for the loss of revenue resulting from reduced transit fares, user fees and deferred property taxes.
At the start of the pandemic, the federal government boosted transfer payments to provinces and territories for health care by $500 million — an amount that seemed large at the time but which has since paled in comparison with the more than $150 billion Ottawa has shovelled into direct financial aid to Canadians and economic stimulus measures.
While Trudeau is now offering provinces and territories substantially more money, there is likely to be some push back from some premiers over his attempt to direct the general areas on which it should be spent rather than letting them spend it as they see fit.
The prime minister is also expected to announce financial support for nearly four million disabled Canadians, who already faced some of the highest costs of living before the pandemic made daily life even more expensive.
Among other things, the pandemic has resulted in many people with disabilities having to rely on in-home care, pay delivery fees for groceries and other items, and fork out higher dispensing fees for prescription drugs.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2020.
BoC eyeing supply, consumer demand for July economic outlook, deputy says – BNNBloomberg.ca
OTTAWA — A senior official at the Bank of Canada says the central bank will be paying close attention to what the post-pandemic economy can supply and what consumers demand.
Deputy governor Toni Gravelle said Thursday it’s possible that supply could recover faster than demand if businesses reopen quickly while consumers remain cautious.
In a speech by video conference to the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, he said it will be key for the bank’s governing council to understand how the pandemic has affected demand, employment and the economy’s capacity to produce goods and services by its next interest rate decision in mid-July.
At that time, the bank will also release an updated economic outlook.
The Bank of Canada held its key policy rate at 0.25 per cent on Wednesday, but said the economy appears to have avoided a worst-case scenario due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gravelle made clear that’s as low as the bank believes the rate can go before it causes problems in markets, a nod toward talk about negative interest rates to spur spending.
The bank also reduced some of its market operations after it “cranked up the volume to 11” to allow the banking system to tap directly into much-needed funding liquidity, Gravelle said.
“Despite the positive signs, though, many risks and uncertainties remain,” Gravelle said, according to a text of his speech released by the bank.
“A lot will depend on whether we as a country are successful in managing the risk of possible future waves of COVID-19, and the pace at which containment measures are lifted. This applies to the global economy as well as Canada’s.”
He said the bank will pay close attention to how the pandemic is affecting growth and demand in key markets for Canadian exports.
Statistics Canada said the domestic economy shrank by 2.1 per cent in the first three months of the year. The Bank of Canada now expects output to drop a further 10 to 20 per cent in the second quarter, which is below its April expectations of a 15 to 30 per cent drop.
As bad as that sounds, Gravelle said, it would be closer to the best-case scenario the bank envisioned in April.
Gravelle pointed in his speech to silver linings in otherwise gloomy economic data.
Statistics Canada jobs figures showed that three million workers became unemployed over March and April as the pandemic took hold, but 43 per cent said they expected to return to their jobs once the pandemic passes. Gravelle said that figure was 15 per cent during the global financial crisis over a decade ago.
“These are all sort of subtle indications,” he said during a media teleconference following the speech.
“It was just more of a hopeful sign that the attachment rate of these employees will be stronger in this crisis or this environment than it was in 2008-2009.”
Inflation has dropped close to zero, driven mainly by plunging gasoline prices, and Gravelle said inflation will remain below the bank’s two per cent target in the near-term due to temporary factors.
Despite the positive tone of the speech, it’s clear no one at the central bank is breathing a sigh of relief just yet, said TD senior economist Brian DePratto.
“The multiple references to its ability to provide further stimulus, and the reiterated goal of keeping asset purchases running until the bank is certain the economic recovery is well underway make it clear that the foot will be firmly on the accelerator for some time to come,” he wrote in a note.
How does Canada save its economy? | The Star – Toronto Star
Canada’s economic numbers are staggering, for all the wrong reasons. In the span of two months, more than three million Canadians have lost their jobs and another 2.5 million have had their work hours reduced. Unemployment has soared to 13 per cent as businesses and corporations have taken on mass layoffs.
A record number of Canadians are turning to government aid to keep their families and businesses afloat. Meanwhile, the GDP is shrinking at a record rate, at levels unseen in more than a decade. Many economists say a plunge of this severity is comparable to the Great Depression of the 1930s. In short: Canada, along with many parts of the world, have seen its economies devastated during the pandemic.
But where is the bottom? Have we seen the worst of it or is there more bad news to come?
Jim Stanford, economist and director of the Centre for Future Work, talks to Adrian Cheung about the big picture of Canada’s economy, why re-opening too quickly could lead to further disaster and ideas on how we can begin recovering financially from this mess.
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