Top Headlines: Unemployment claims reach 280,000, Amazon hiring in Bessemer

280,000 Alabamians filed unemployment claims over the last month
The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is continuing to add Alabamians to the state’s unemployment rolls. Another 77,515 Alabamians filed an initial jobless claim last week, bringing the total since the week ending March 14 up to 279,431, or about 12.5 percent of the state’s total labor force in February. The number of people who filed a jobless claim during the past four weeks is far more than at any point since at least 1987. – AL Political Reporter

Amazon up and running in Bessemer, and still hiring
Amazon says its Bessemer fulfillment center is now up and running. New employees entered the 855,000-square-foot building for the first time March 29. It employs more than 1,500 full-time employees, and the online retailer says it is still hiring there. Interested candidates can sign up for text alerts when opportunities open by texting BHMNOW to 77088. –

Gulf Shores wants to open beaches, businesses in May
The City of Gulf Shores said it wants to allow small businesses and restaurants to reopen in two weeks. Mayor Robert Craft said city leaders held discussions with state health officials and the Alabama Small Business Commission Emergency Task Force Subcommittee to come up with recommendations for opening beaches and businesses. – Fox10TV

UAB-developed drug effective against COVID-19 powers strong trading
A drug developed at UAB showing early signs to be able to successfully fight against COVID-19 led to strong after-hours trading on the Dow Jones. Gilead Sciences shares jump 14 percent in after-hours trading and Dow Jones futures were up more than 700 points after a report that the drug Remdesivir was helping coronavirus patients rapidly recover in a Chicago hospital using the drug in a trial. –

Jazz Fest, Essence Fest drop fall plans, aim for 2021
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has followed Essence Fest in abandoning plans to postpone until this fall, organizers announced Thursday. The move had seemed likely since Tuesday, when New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell said she thought the city shouldn’t host major festivals for the remainder of 2020. While she essentially made a recommendation, not an edict, her position that “the focus should shift to 2021” was clear. –

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Alabama generator manufacturer gets global distribution deal
An Alabama maker of complex motor generators earlier this month announced a global distribution agreement with Flanders Electric. Adventech, which developed the Maxeff brand of motors, said the deal would make its products “readily available to an extended audience worldwide.” Flanders, based in Indiana, deploys and integrates advanced technology into large machines that contain electric rotating systems. – ThomasNet

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