Fed Chair Powell says without more stimulus, economy won’t recover (but Trump and McConnell “Just Say NO”)
Economic analysts are forecasting that on Thursday we’ll see that another 2.7 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment insurance last week. If they’re right, it would mean 36.3 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the nine weeks ending May 9. Even if those millions were the only Americans to have lost jobs as a consequence of the economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, it would put the unemployment rate at 22%.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned additional government spending may be necessary to avoid a prolonged recession — and without more help, many small businesses may not survive long. https://t.co/1Mijpxq5u7
— NPR (@NPR) May 13, 2020
Although reliable job statistics weren’t gathered until 1939, the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated decades after the fact that the worst unemployment of the Great Depression hit 24.9% in 1933. But those tens of millions of filers aren’t the only Americans out of work. Millions more have been laid off who aren’t eligible for jobless benefits or haven’t yet managed to navigate the benefits system.
While many lay-offs are certain to be short term—some people are already going back to work—Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell made a grim assessment Wednesday in a webinar at the Peterson Institute for International Economics: “A Fed survey being released tomorrow reflects findings similar to many others: Among people who were working in February, almost 40% of those in households making less than $40,000 a year had lost a job in March. […] This reversal of economic fortune has caused a level of pain that is hard to capture in words, as lives are upended amid great uncertainty about the future.”
(Crossposted with DailyKos.)