5 things the latest data says about COVID-19 and the economy
This month’s COVID-19 case and economic recovery data reveals how cases have grown in different parts of the country, the number of children who have contracted coronavirus, and economic indicators like consumer spending and employment.
Along with the increase in cases was an increase in the rate of cases per 100,000 Americans. In April, there were 267 new cases per 100,000 Americans.
In July, that rate jumped to 579 per 100,000 people. Another way to look at this: in April, there was one case in every 375 Americans. In July, it was one in every 172 Americans.
These rates increased as new hotspots recorded far more cases adjusted for population than the hotspots from early during the pandemic.
In April, Florida had a positive case rate of 125 per 100,000 people, or one per 797 Floridians. In July, its new case rate was 1,480 per 100,000 people or one in 68.
Five Northeastern states — New York (1,182 per 100,000 people), New Jersey (1,132), Massachusetts (806), Rhode Island (754), and Connecticut (689) –— had the highest case rates among states in April. In July, these states ranked among the lowest, with none exceeding 127 new cases per 100,000 people.
Children make up less than 9% of all known COVID-19 cases.
School years are restarting, and school districts are having to decide between providing virtual or in-person instruction.
So far, children have made up a small percentage of COVID-19 cases. At the end of July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated a database that includes demographic information on 2.6 million known coronavirus cases. That represents about 58% of the 4.5 million cases recorded as of July 31.
Of the cases in the database, children younger than 10 made up 2.5% of all cases. Those aged 10 to 19 made up 6.1% of all cases. Together these age groups make up 25% of the US population.
Comparing share of COVID-19 cases to share of population
According to the CDC guidance for school reopenings, data shows that children are less likely to contract the virus than adults. The data on transmission among children is limited, according to the CDC.
America's largest urban areas disproportionately have more cases and more job losses.
Together, the nation's largest 20 metropolitan areas comprise 37.2% of the population and accounted for 46.7% of the known COVID-19 cases as of July 31.
In June, the United States had 142.1 million payroll jobs, 9.5% lower than the 157.1 million jobs in June 2019. The 20 largest metro areas accounted for 6.9 million of the 15 million jobs lost, or 46.3%. New York City, which accounts for one in every nine known COVID-19 cases in the US, also accounts for 9.4% of the decline in jobs. It is home to 5.9% of the nation's population. Los Angeles also has a disproportionate share of coronavirus cases (5% of the national total) and jobs lost (7.3%). It has 4% of the country's population.
Share of COVID-19 cases and job losses in the 20 largest metro areas
Personal income increased since the pandemic began due to expanded government transfers.
June personal income data from the Bureau of Economic Advisers (BEA) shows that people made nearly 5% more than they did in January. The increase is due to income from government transfers. This includes an expansion of unemployment insurance that provided an additional $600 a week to anyone qualified for the benefit.
Unemployment insurance claims are down, but 11% of the eligible workforce continues to receive benefits.
There were 17 million continuing unemployment insurance claims the week of July 18. That's 31.7% lower than the record 24.9 million people continuing to get benefits the week of May 9, according to Department of Labor.
The total new filings are much lower than the 6.9 million new claims in that last week of March. Still, the first week of August marked the 20th consecutive week of more than 1 million people filing for unemployment insurance.
While the number of people seeking or receiving unemployment claims has dropped, it’s also worth seeing what share of workers are receiving the payments.
The week of May 9, 17% of 145.7 million eligible workers were receiving benefits. The week of July 18, the share of those receiving benefits fell to 11.6%.
Continuing claims dropped almost everywhere during this period. Only Texas and Washington, DC had increases, both up less than a percentage point. Tourism-heavy Nevada and Hawaii had respectively 25% and 20% of its eligible workers continue to receive unemployment insurance in July. Washington state, which in May had 30% of its workers receiving benefits, had 9.9% of its workers receive payments in July.
Share of eligible workers receiving unemployment insurance (Week of July 18)
Weekly unemployment insurance claims are one of the most real-time indicators of how the economy is going. The coming weeks of data will be crucial to track, both after the expiration of the unemployment insurance expansion as well as the end of the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program for businesses.