Defying a wave of layoffs that has sent the U.S. job market into its worst catastrophe on record, at least one major industry is making a comeback. Tens of thousands of auto workers are returning to factories that have been shuttered since mid-March due to fears of spreading the coronavirus.
The auto industry is among the first major sectors of the economy to restart its engine.
About 133,000 U.S. workers — just over half of the industry’s workforce before the pandemic — are expected to pour back into assembly plants that will open in the coming week, according to estimates by The Associated Press. A staggering 36 million people have now sought jobless aid in just the two months since the virus first forced businesses to close down and shrink their work forces.
Here are some of AP’s top stories Friday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
__ The Democratic-controlled House is pressing ahead with votes on another massive rescue bill that would pump almost $1 trillion to state and local governments, renew $1,200 cash payments for individuals, and extend a $600 weekly supplemental federal unemployment benefit. The first four coronavirus response bills were bipartisan measures that passed by sweeping votes, but Friday’s measure — with a $3 trillion-plus price tag that exceeds the prior bills combined — promises to pass largely along party lines.
__ Shuttered sectors of New York’s upstate economy will begin inching back to life Friday with more construction, manufacturing and curbside retail pickups allowed in parts of the state that are miles away from pandemic-stricken New York City. The smaller cities and rural regions of upstate New York have been spared the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is allowing many of those areas to gradually reopen first, industry by industry.