Coronavirus Updates: California's Grim Unemployment Numbers; Verizon Sees Streaming Lag

Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.

  • Verizon data suggest pandemic behaviors are starting to reverse
  • California among three states reporting the highest level of unemployment claims

    Verizon data suggest pandemic behaviors are starting to reverse

    live.staticflickr.com

    Data released yesterday by Verizon suggest that pandemic-induced behaviors are starting to reverse. The telecommunications giant's latest report shows that, in the week to May 6:

    • Video streaming fell 11%
    • Collaboration tools fell 5%
    • Gaming fell 4%

    People also seem to be moving around more as stay-at-home mandates relax and the spring weather beckons. Movement from one cell site to another climbed 6.2% on the week -- "the biggest weekly gain since the COVID crisis began," Verizon reported. Such "handoffs" are still 18% lower than normal, however.

    "The network performance numbers definitely indicate a break in routines people have formed over the last several weeks during the pandemic," said Verizon's Chief Technology Officer.

    California among three states reporting the highest level of unemployment claims

    www.picserver.org

    California, which borrowed cash from the federal government to help pay for unemployment claims, was one of three states reporting the highest levels of initial claims in the nation. About 318,000 California workers filed initial claims for unemployment during the week that ended May 2, which was down slightly from the 325,000 who filed jobless claims for the week that ended April 25, the U.S. Labor Department reported.

    Overall, the U.S. said the number of Americans who filed for benefits topped three million for a seventh-straight week. That brought the seven-week total to about 33.5 million. California joined Texas and Georgia reporting the highest levels of unadjusted initial claims last week. Most states posted declines from the prior week. The economic downturn brought by the new coronavirus is expected to drive California into a $53.4 billion deficit over the next year with an unemployment rate projected well above its peak during the financial crisis in 2008., according to a memo released by Gov. Gavin Newsom's office Thursday.

    "California began 2020 with a strong bill of financial health—a strong economy, historic reserves, and a structurally balanced budget," according to the report. "The rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has had an immediate and severe impact on the global, national, and state economies... The May Revision economic forecast reflects that COVID-19 impacts will continue to cause economic losses in 2020."

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    The Streamys Reveals The Disconnect Between Online Creators and Traditional Media

    Kristin Snyder

    Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

    tiktok influencers around a trophy ​
    Andria Moore /Charli D'Amelio/Addison Rae/JiDion

    Every year, the Streamy Awards, which is considered the top award show within the creator economy, reveals which creators are capturing the largest audiences. This past Sunday, the event, held at The Beverly Hilton, highlighted some of the biggest names in the influencer game, chief among them Mr. Beast and Charli D’Amelio. It had all the trappings of a traditional award show—extravagant gowns, quippy acceptance speeches and musical interludes. But, as TikTok creator Adam Rose told The Washington Post, the Streamys still lacks the legitimacy of traditional award shows.

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    Slingshot Aerospace Raises $40 Million to Expand Space Object Sensor Network

    Samson Amore

    Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

    Slingshot Aerospace Raises $40 Million to Expand Space Object Sensor Network
    Photo: Slingshot Aerospace

    Slingshot Aerospace, the El Segundo-based startup developing software for managing objects in space’s orbit, raised $40.9 million to build out its global network of sensors and recruit new customers both private and public.

    The round was a follow-on to Slingshot’s $25 million Series A-1 raise in March.

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    Blink Charging Knows That 'Long-Term' They Need Two Revenue Streams

    David Shultz

    David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

    charging station
    Blink Charging

    It ain’t easy being a charging company…or at least a lot of them aren’t making it look easy. Between reports of abysmal charger uptime, declining stock values, lack of standards and meaningless jargon (is “hyper” really faster than “ultra?”), the race to electrify America’s roads has been a bumpy one. For Miami-based Blink Charging, however, the solution to smoothing the transition may be about becoming more than just a charger company.

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