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NBER; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

The U.S. economic recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic officially ended in April 2020, the National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday.

Why it matters: That may seem an odd proclamation, since the economy still has a long way to go and unemployment is elevated well above pre-pandemic levels.

  • However, trends continue to improve, and we can now date the favorable turning point.

The big picture: The NBER said the recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic began in February 2020, making this the shortest recession on record.

Flashback: After the U.S. government in March 2020 issued safety guidelines that began the shut down of much of the economy, April brought the largest one-month employment decline in history.

The bottom line: Knowing when the recession ended doesn’t change anything. However, it does help us to better understand how the economy works as we study it in hindsight.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Sep 3, 2021 - Axios Denver

What the end of pandemic unemployment aid means in Colorado

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

By the end of the week, more than 100,000 Colorado residents will lose the extra federal unemployment benefits that helped them pay bills during the pandemic.

What's happening: The $300 weekly unemployment benefits that about 116,000 people in Colorado currently receive expire after Sept. 4.

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Smaller than expected "Justice for J6" rally met with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: Four people were arrested at the rally, including one person with a gun, one with a knife and two with outstanding warrants, per the U.S. Capitol Police.