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More women than men may lose their jobs because of the outbreak.

The economic impact of the pandemic in the United States will be different from the 2008 crash of the markets in at least one way: It is likely to lead to more job losses for women than men, at least in the short term, according to a new paper by researchers at three universities.

“In all major recessions, including the financial recession 10 years ago, many more men lose their jobs,” said Matthias Doepke, an economics professor at Northwestern University and one of the authors of the research paper. “This has to do with two things: Usually the business news most-affected sectors are things like construction and manufacturing, which are male-dominated. And the second thing is this notion of ‘insurance in the family’ — that some married women decide to actually work more during a recession to make up for the job loss of the husband.”

But in this downturn, the sectors that are going to be most affected — hospitality, retail, travel — have fairly high female employment, Mr. Doepke said.

However, the paper suggests that the new work-from-home policies may also promote gender equality in the long run.

“We expect that this added flexibility is going to stay — not completely — but to a large extent after the crisis,” Mr. Doepke said.

With demand falling, oil companies are slashing production and jobs.
With the coronavirus pandemic all but eliminating travel, demand for energy is tumbling, and oil companies from Algeria to West Texas are slashing budgets. Refineries are cutting production of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, and oil companies are dropping rigs, dismissing fracking crews and beginning to shutter wells.

As much as 20 percent, or 20 million barrels a day, of oil demand may be lost as the global economy slows, according to the International Energy Agency. That is roughly equivalent to eliminating all U.S. consumption. To make matters worse, Saudi Arabia and Russia are increasing oil production to regain market share from American oil companies that increased production and exports in recent years.

The Trump administration has been trying to convince Saudi Arabia and Russia that they should cut production to help stabilize the oil market; President Trump and President Vladimir Putin of Russia discussed energy markets in a call on Monday. But the energy demand destroyed by the virus now overshadows anything that Saudi Arabia or Russia could do to reduce exports.

Global oil benchmark prices hover around $20 a barrel — levels not seen in a generation — and regional prices in West Texas and North Dakota have fallen even further, to around $10 a barrel. That is about a quarter of the price that shale operators typically need to cover the costs of pulling oil out of the ground. If these prices persist, a big wave of bankruptcies is inevitable by the end of the year, experts say.

Senators push to keep President Trump from gagging the stimulus program’s inspector general.
The economic recovery package that was signed by President Trump last week created a new inspector general to monitor how a $500 billion pot of relief money is being allocated. The law specified that the inspector general, who will be selected by Mr. Trump and placed in the Treasury Department, must alert Congress if requests for information are blocked.

Mr. Trump, however, suggested in a signing statement on Friday that he had the power to decide what information the inspector general could share with Congress.

In a letter, Senators Chuck Schumer of New York, Sherrod  Press Release Distribution Services for business Brown of Ohio and Ron Wyden of Oregon urged Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin not to allow the president to restrict the inspector general. Mr. Schumer is the minority leader and Mr. Brown and Mr. Wyden are the top Democrats on the Senate’s banking and finance committees.

The senators went on to remind Mr. Mnuchin that he personally negotiated with lawmakers the terms of the legislation that created the inspector general’s role and that lawmakers agreed to the $500 billion fund on the condition that there would be sufficient oversight.

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