This algorithm could make it easier for over 73 million Americans to get jobs

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One in three Americans has some sort of criminal background. But even convictions for minor offenses can keep them from getting jobs if the employer isn’t using a nuanced approach to vetting. Zuleyka Strasner is one of those few business owners who saw her startup Zero Grocery grow during the COVID-19 pandemic. Strasner, Zero’s founder and CEO, says that the Bay Area-based delivery company grew by 200% week-over-week when stay-at-home orders were issued in California in mid-March. That the company aims to reduce waste from unnecessary packaging was a bonus for shoppers who didn’t want to risk exposure from reusable containers. Read Full Story

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How you can find a job during the COVID-19 crisis

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The founder and CEO of Talent Inc. says right now your best strategy is to focus on short-term solutions that will get you through this challenging time. No one could have predicted our current reality as part of the 2020 employment forecast. As of March 26, over three million people have filed unemployment claims this week alone—the most in U.S. history. The stock market is in turmoil, drastically plummeting on an almost daily basis. The national government has now stepped in, offering bridge loans to small businesses to help them retain their employees. Read Full Story

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COVID-19 vaccine distribution: 5 maps that show how we can get them to everyone

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Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines will create unprecedented logistical challenges for state and local governments. The ultra-rapid development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines over the last few months has been nothing short of amazing, but these life-saving, economy-rescuing, normal-world-restoring treatments won’t mean a whole lot unless we can actually get them to people. Distribution will have to happen on an unprecedented scale, which presents unprecedented logistical challenges for state and local governments. Read Full Story

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This company is finding hidden COVID cases by searching through our poop

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The virus shows up in wastewater, so cities can test their sewers to help locate new outbreaks well before they show up in testing. In the U.S., where there are now 5.14 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, tests still aren’t happening quickly enough to stop the spread of the disease. That’s partly because of the government’s epic mismanagement of the pandemic, and partly because as many as 45% of the people who are infected never have symptoms, meaning they don’t have any reason to get tested. Others later get visibly sick, but were already spreading the virus before they showed any symptoms. Read Full Story

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This COVID-19 economic impact tracker could help make small business loan programs like PPP better

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Cortera and Moody’s Analytics’ new free COVID19 Economic Impact Tracker shows the spending and payment behavior of over a million small to medium businesses in the U.S. The government’s initial massive $350 billion program to provide forgivable loans to millions of small businesses wasn’t nearly as effective as it could have been due to some classic infuriating problems—millions of dollars went to large corporations due to a loophole in the original bill, and the most hard-hit states like New York and Massachusetts got far less money than rural states that have largely avoided the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The areas that got hit by the COVID hurricane got disproportionately less help than other places,” says Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi. Read Full Story

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