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Predictably, leading economic indicators are also unprecedented. Chief among these are the unemployment numbers. It is estimated that 46 million Americans are laid off or experiencing a reduction in work hours, according to Gallup survey data collected from March 27 to March 31. This comprises 28 percent of American workers, or 19 percent of the U.S. adult population. . Other estimates have come in even higher.

Half the workers in the most severely affected industries – arts, design, entertainment, sports, restaurants, accommodations, retail and transportation – report being laid off or given reduced hours, according the data from the Brookings Institution, a non-profit public policy organization.

Among the above-listed industries, retail sales may become the hardest hit. By March, retail sales had experienced a decline that was the largest in the nearly three decades the government has tracked the data. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that March sales fell 8.7 percent from the previous month, an unprecedented drop.

Meanwhile, the country’s small businesses are suffering mightily.  At the same time, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the total value of everything produced in the U.S. is on track to possibly be dwarfed by the federal debt for the first time since World War II. JPMorgan Chase predicts a 25 percent decline in the GDP in Q2, while Goldman Sachs sees a 34 percent contraction.

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