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Since social distancing measures went into effect in mid-March to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in the country, nearly 36.5 million Americans have filed unemployment claims. As businesses remain shuttered and most people remain indoors (either out of fear or necessity), the unemployment rate is steadily inching toward the Great Depression’s historic peak of 24.9%.
Joblessness, brick-and-mortar closings and lockdowns have also caused consumer spending in the retail sector to tumble, dropping 16.4% this April from the previous month, according to advanced estimates released by the U.S.