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(The Center Square) – More than 40 million Americans have filed unemployment claims since mid-March, when state governments across the U.S. began restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19, including closing businesses deemed nonessential.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to an unprecedented economic shutdown as thousands of “nonessential” businesses have closed their doors. The crisis disproportionately affects the 21.3% of American workers in retail, leisure, and hospitality who not only face lack of work, but also suffer from long-standing, below-average wages. According to the latest annual data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for workers in the retail trade and leisure and hospitality sectors was $19.70 and $16.55 in 2019, compared to $28 per hour across all workers.

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The coronavirus pandemic has cost a record number of Americans their jobs as much of the economy shut down in mid-March. Even as some states start to reopen, many businesses will remain closed or operate in a reduced capacity, meaning millions of workers will remain unemployed.

RED HOUSE — Members of the Allegany State Park (ASP) Nordic Ski Patrol are hardy, dedicated volunteers who monitor the cross country ski and mountain biking trails of the park’s Art Roscoe Ski Area, keeping people safe and rescuing them in times of need.