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Data: National Bureau of Economic Research; Table: Axios Visuals

The U.S. saw its largest ever decline in the number of business owners between February and April, as at least 3.3 million shut their doors, a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research using the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey found.

What it means: The record wave of closures was widespread but disproportionately hit minority- and immigrant-owned firms, and "may portend longer-term ramifications for job losses and economic inequality," the study found.

  • African American businesses were the hardest hit.

The big picture: "No other one-, two- or even 12-month window of time has ever shown such a large change in business activity," author Robert W. Fairlie writes.

  • "For comparison, from the start to end of the Great Recession the number of business owners decreased by 730,000 representing only a 5 percent reduction."
  • The reduction from February to April this year is more than four times that much.

What's next: "More permanent mass closures of small businesses in the United States are likely to have a dramatic effect on employee job losses, further income inequality, and contribute to a prolonged recession."

Go deeper: A reckoning for small business

Go deeper

Pandemic may drive up cancer cases and exacerbate disparities

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Doctors are concerned the coronavirus pandemic is going to lead to an uptick in cancer incidence and deaths — and exacerbate racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities seen with the disease.

Why it matters: The U.S. has made recent advances in lowering cancer deaths — including narrowing the gap between different race and ethnicities in both incidence and death rates. But the pandemic could render some of these advances moot.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."