Another day, another surprise for the economic forecasters: a record 6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week. Oxford Economics in an email called it an “incomprehensible jump” that may be “the new normal.” Joe Brusuelas, chief economist for middle market audit and advisory firm RSM, wrote that such “tectonic shifts” imply a “real-time unemployment rate of 10.1% at a minimum.”

There is so much uncertainty in the world right now that economic forecasters are downgrading their predictions almost as fast as they can make them. Within a few weeks, Goldman Sachs downgraded its second quarter GDP estimates from –2% to –24% to –32%.

Predictions are pretty clear that a recession, and maybe a very bad one, is in the offing. But given how quickly the situation is changing, is there a chance the country is heading for a depression?

Fortune discussed the issue with 10 economists and financial market experts. Most at this point consider a recession essentially a given. And a depression? That’s where opinions start to diverge wildly.

After all, out of the 22 recessions since 1900, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, only one was dire enough to warrant such a title: the …

Surviving launch day doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods. In fact, your greatest pitfalls might lie ahead.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Starting a business offers all sorts of pitfalls. Big ones, like running out of cash or running into legal issues, are hard to ignore. But in the midst of the long nights, major decisions and mountains of paperwork, it’s easy to miss little things that can make a major difference in the long run.

Keep an eye out for these missteps as you endeavor on your newest venture.

1. Failing to do research

A CBInsights study shows that 42 percent of startups fail because they don’t address a market need. Tackling a problem that’s interesting to solve may be fun, but it isn’t a path to success.

Before you invest in your business idea, ask yourself what problem your service or product is solving. Then, discover through research whether that problem is common enough — and painful enough — for consumers that it warrants a solution.

Don’t guess; use tools like surveys and focus groups to go directly to customers. Get at least a few dozen responses before

2020 is the year the hard seltzer turf war that has been brewing truly heats up.

With volume tripling from year-ago levels and shipments reaching more than 82 million cases annually, hard seltzer easily outsells vodka. The buzzy drink appeared in its first Super Bowl ad in 2020, and more than half of American alcohol drinkers now consume at least one hard seltzer each week.

The leading brand, White Claw, even has its own cultural catchphrase: “Ain’t no laws when you’re drinking Claws.”

By 2023, consumption of hard seltzers is projected to triple, according to industry researcher IWSR. That pace of growth has led to an acceleration in new entrants to the market, with as many as 100 alcoholic seltzer brands selling as many as 400 different variations this year. And while the COVID-19 crisis will result in some challenges to distribution in the coming months, hard seltzer is expected to be the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage over the next several years.

Former “Bachelorette” contestant and fan favorite Mike Johnson and Smirnoff teamed up to launch the “Will You Accept This Rosé?” campaign by surprising fans on Jan. 13, 2020, in Brooklyn.
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Smirnoff Seltzer

For …

We may be staring down the highest levels of joblessness, ever.

A total of 7.1 million Americans were unemployed in March, up 1.4 million from last month, according to data published Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But the actual number of Americans out of work is far greater, given that report is through March 13—before the unprecedented wave of layoffs. In the two weeks ended March 21 and March 28, the country saw a combined 10 million initial unemployment claims.

If you combine the number of Americans unemployed in the March jobs report and the following two weeks of unemployment claims, then the unemployed total sits above 17 million—a number more massive than the Great Recession’s peak of 14.7 million in June 2009. In fact, 17 million unemployed Americans would be the highest level in the country’s history.

“The March unemployment numbers are old and do not reflect what is happening now in the labor market,” says Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. “There are a lot more unemployed than it is showing…If you tack on [unemployment] claims the past two weeks, the number is above 17 million unemployed.”

The March jobs report numbers were …