Reporter Roundup: Unemployment, COVID-19 Deaths

Reporter Roundup: Unemployment, COVID-19 Deaths

[Music] Hello, I’m Juan Devis, Chief Creative
Officer at KCET and PBS SoCal, and I’m joined by the newsroom of KPCC and
LAist on a daily Reporter Roundup. How is everyone today? -Well, thank you. -David, why don’t we start with you today? We have new unemployment
numbers from the state. What does it look like? -That’s right, LA County’s unemployment rate shot up to twenty point three percent in the new jobs report that came
out today. That’s one out of every five LA workers losing their job by mid April as
a result of a coronavirus related business closures. This is just a
record-setting number, nothing like anything most of us have seen in our
lifetime. California statewide unemployment rate is a bit lower at fifteen
point five percent, but still unemployment during the Great Recession never got
that high. Economists say LA’s unemployment rate is higher than average
because our economy really relies so heavily on service sector jobs, so, you
know, people who are working in restaurants, hotels, the entertainment
industry. These are jobs that really can’t be done remotely in a lot of cases.
They have to be done face-to-face. In been more tech heavy parts of California
like the San Francisco Bay Area, we’re seeing much lower unemployment rates, but
truly no industry in California and no part of the state has been spared from
these huge job losses. -Caroline is continuing to dig into the way the
pandemic is shaping our response and the responses that are coming in to the
census. -So, the whole timeline for the 2020 Census has been shifted because of coronavirus since census workers can’t go door to door like they normally would. This is gonna have consequences
potentially until California’s next primary in 2022. Normally a commission
would use that census data to draw new maps for the state senate and state
assembly districts but there’s a high chance that commission won’t even get
population data until after the deadline to have those maps drawn, and that would
be a serious mess, because without it maps, politicians wouldn’t even know who
they’d be running to represent in 2022. The state Supreme Court or a ballot
measure could give the Commission an extension. Either way, the 2022 to March
primary will probably get moved back to June just to avoid any potential snafu. -Ryan’s been looking into LA’s Slow Streets Program, which aims to shut down
some streets to enable more social distancing. -That’s right. It doesn’t
technically shut down any streets, but what it does, basically, is puts up signs
and barriers to inform drivers mostly that streets are for local traffic only
and just to be more mindful of people that are walking and biking and taking
in their their neighborhood not in a car. This program really started as a
grassroots effort by community groups who noticed that, you know, as more people
are at home, fewer cars in the road, the more people are looking for whatever
sort of fresh air and exercise they can get in their neighborhoods. It’s launched
so far in Delray and Sawtelle as of last week. It launches in Eagle Rock today, and
then over the weekend the west side of the Mid City neighborhood is getting the program.
It’s getting a lot of interest. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation is
managing the program, and they told me today that so far they’ve received more
than hundred seventy-five applications, so that’s one hundred seventy five residents, and or community
groups that are really interested in bringing this to their neighborhoods so, something to watch out for. And finally today, a somber milestone in Los Angeles.
More than 2,000 people have died from COVID, and Eric profiled one of them. Yeah. I spoke to Gaspar Gomez’s daughter Lucia who told me, you know, her dad’s
life story, and one of the things that I constantly have to remind myself is that
as hard as it is to report these stories on COVID-19, it’s much harder living them,
and that’s something that I learned writing this obituary for Gaspar. He was
a father. He was a fan of Chalino Sánchez, he loved to dance zapateado, and
he was probably the first known day-laborer to die in LA. There’s, you know,
these networks that keep track of day laborers, and Gaspar was part of a group
that’s about a thousand day-laborers that they keep track of, and he’s the first
one to have reportedly died of coronavirus, but he was much more than that, and he
had this beautiful life and a beautiful family, and he leaves behind five
daughters and a son and his his wife, so I was, I was honored to get to tell his
story and that the family entrusted me with that. There’s always, like, a little
bit of hope you get from talking to people, and his daughter remembers the happy moments, and she told me his story through tears, but also through laughter, so I was really inspired by her and by Gaspar. -Thank you Eric, that was an incredible story to end our Reporter Roundup. Thank
you, also, to all of you at the LAist and KPCC newsroom, and thank you for tuning
in. Stay healthy, take care of your family, and we will see you on Monday. [Music]


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