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
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
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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Despite — or in many cases because of — the raging pandemic, 2020 was a great year for many tech startups. It turned out to be an ideal time to be in the video game business, developing a streaming ecommerce platform for Gen Z, or helping restaurants with their online ordering.
But which companies in Southern California had the best year? That is highly subjective of course. But in an attempt to highlight who's hot, we asked dozens of the region's top VCs to weigh in.
We wanted to know what companies they wish they would have invested in if they could go back and do it all over again.
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