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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The U.S. economy peaked in February before sliding into a recession as the coronavirus pandemic hit, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, a group that’s considered the official determiners of when recessions begin and end.

Why it matters: There was no doubt the U.S. was in the midst of a recession, given the shelter-in-place measures that brought economic activity to a near halt and caused millions of layoffs — but this is the group's fastest call yet, as it's sometimes taken as long as a year to make such calls in the past.

What they’re saying: The research group says it's declaring a recession — even though, by definition, a recession lasts longer than a few months, and this particular downturn might not be as long-lasting.

  • "The unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy, warrants the designation of this episode as a recession, even if it turns out to be briefer than earlier contractions," NBER researchers said in a release.

Go deeper

Sep 15, 2020 - Health

CDC: Roughly 75% of children who die from COVID-19 are minorities

Students wearing masks walk around the Boston College Campus in Newton, Mass., on Sept. 14. Photo: Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The coronavirus killed at least 121 people under 21 years old across the U.S. between Feb. 12 and July 31, according to a study published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: Of those young people, roughly 3 in 4 were Hispanic, Black, American Indian or Alaska Natives, suggesting the virus is disproportionately killing young people of color, and especially those with underlying health conditions.

JPMorgan sends employees home after they contract COVID-19

Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase said Tuesday the bank has sent a number of its employees in New York City home after an unspecified number tested positive for the coronavirus, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Roughly one week after workers started trickling back into offices after Labor Day weekend, news of the infection was communicated internally, serving as just one example of how the spread of the coronavirus will make it challenging to bring staff back from remote work, Bloomberg writes.

Updated 16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: CDC director maintains Pfizer booster recommendation for high-risk workers — CDC director approves Pfizer boosters, adds eligibility for high-risk workers — FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up.
  2. Health: America's mismatched COVID fears — Some experts see signs of hope as cases fall — WHO: Nearly 1 in 4 Afghan COVID hospitals shut after Taliban takeover — D.C. goes further than area counties with vaccine mandates.
  3. Politics: Bolsonaro isolating after health minister tests positive at UN summit — United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated — Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples.
  4. Education: Health care workers and teachers caught up in booster confusion — Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine — Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

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