Natural Gas and Propane Shortages and Unemployment Trends : The Indicator from Planet Money For our indicators of the week, we're talking about shortages of heating sources during the recent cold snap and trends amongst unemployed Americans.

Cold Fronts, Propane And New Jobs - Indicators Of The Week

Cold Fronts, Propane and New Jobs - Indicators of the Week

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

On today's show, we picked what we thought were the most striking indicators for this week. We'll be discussing two big stories: the cold snap across much of the United States and the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Specifically, our first indicator is more than 50%. More than 50% of American families get their heat from natural gas or propane, and many people have been cut off from heat during the recent cold spell due to shortages of these heating fuels.

Our second indicator is two-thirds, which is the share of unemployed people surveyed by Pew Research who said that they have seriously considered changing their occupation or their field of work entirely. The survey also found unemployed Americans were also suffering emotional strain from job loss.

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