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Coronavirus May Cost America Millions of Jobs

Coronavirus May Cost America Millions of Jobs

The United States could lose 1 million jobs this month, warns economist and CNN commentator Kevin Hassett.

“You’re looking at one of the biggest negative job numbers we’ve ever seen,” said Hassett, who predicts a 5% economic shrinkage in the second quarter. “The odds of a global recession are close to 100% right now.”

Restaurant closures and other drastic measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 could cost millions of service industry workers and business owners their jobs (and their livelihoods). 

Weekly applications for unemployment insurance jumped by 70,000 last week compared to the week before. In Pennsylvania, more than 100,000 individuals filed for unemployment benefits on March 16-17. There were just 14,000 claims during the first week of March.

Residents of Ohio filed 48,640 claims on March 16-17, more than twice the monthly average. In New Jersey, so many people filed for unemployment benefits that it crashed the website.

“While coronavirus layoffs began last week, the full weight of the impact – while swift – is still ramping up as businesses realize what they are up against,” writes EPI senior economist Heidi Shierholz. “That means that we should look at the numbers…as just the leading edge of the labor market impact of the coronavirus outbreak.”

The Trump Administration has proposed a hefty stimulus package to help Americans weather the storm, but without further action, unemployment could rise as high as 20%.

Officials say it could take months before the virus subsides to a level that is safe enough to allow Americans to return to normal life.

To date, the largest one-month job loss in US history was in September 1945 when 1.96 million jobs were lost as the nation adjusted to a post-war footing following the conclusion of WWII.

The biggest job loss in recent history was during the Great Recession (2007-2009), when employment plunged by 800,000 in March 2009. That drop followed losses of 743,000 in February and 784,000 in January.

Fortunately, the jobs market was strong heading into the COVID-19 outbreak and that strength could mitigate the coming damage.

“Companies will be cautious about cutting workers if they think this will be a short-term phenomenon,” says Russell Price, chief economist at Ameriprise. “They are going to try to hang onto workers for fear of not being able to get them on the other side.”

In the meantime, unemployed workers are flocking to gig jobs like Lyft, Instacart, and UberEats for income. These companies are seeing a spike in business as Americans attempt to avoid contact with each other.

UberEats is trying to keep restaurants afloat by waiving delivery fees and GrubHub, a similar service, is deferring the commissions it typically collects from restaurants. Amazon is hiring 100,000 employees to help meet the increasing demand for grocery delivery services.

“Progressives criticize this ‘on-demand’ work as somehow exploitative,” notes The Wall Street Journal. “But the coronavirus contagion is demonstrating that this free-market flexibility can be a labor lifesaver in a viral panic.”

Author’s Note:

Of course unemployment is going to skyrocket, but that is the price we are paying to save tens of thousands of lives. And while it is not like Trump to support measures harmful to the economy, he knows he can’t win the election if Democrats hang dead bodies around his neck.

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3 Comments

  1. Gary Lloyd

    If Pres. Trump would shut his mouth, listen to experts, and be less thin-skinned, there wouldn’t be such a polarizing opinion of him. I support his general approach to governing our Nation, but he makes it almost impossible to like the man. And based on my experiences with him more than 35 years ago, he hasn’t changed much, he just has a larger audience to bully.

    Reply
  2. Joe S Bruder

    Trump inherited a roaring economy from Obama, who rescued the nation from the Bush recession. Trump has claimed credit for the economy, and it took him 3 years to screw it up. His response now is “I don’t take the blame for anything”. Yet, we’ll leave this Republican administration just like the last one – in a recession, with Democrats in charge to clean it up.

    Reply
  3. Jeanette Kelley

    Gary Lloyd & Joe S Bruder, are you both loosing your minds??? Quote:” Trump inherited a roaring economy from Obama” & “And based on my experiences with him more than 35 years ago, he hasn’t changed much, he just has a larger audience to bully”.

    Obama did NOTHING FOR THIS COUNTRY but take it down & divide and APOLOGIZE for this Once Great Nation of Ours to every other Nation in this World. He did so many Unconstitutional things against this Nation of ours, and no one held him accountable for anything including the H1N1 /SARS Virus that killed over 6,000 people in this Country alone. Where were you both when all of this was happening?

    President Trump and his Team Love this AMERICAN NATION of ours, and with No Help from the Propaganda News Media we have and People like you , he never gets the Credit he deserves! Before this Blown out of Proportion CRON/19 Virus hit our Economy/Stock Market was booming like crazy, nothing this Good Since President Reagan! All Thanks to President Trump and his policy, N0T OBAMA!

    All the Americans, BLACK, ASIAN, WHITE , HESPANIC that supported President Trump in 2016 will do so again, times 10, as we all see ALL THIS CRAP/BIAS from The DEMONCRATS, PROPAGANDA NEWS MEDIA, WALLSTREET and shameful people like you trying to DESTROY a FAIRLY ELECTED PRESIDENT that is only trying do what’s right for AMERICA AND IT’S AMERICAN CITIZENS.

    Search your Hearts, and really tell me if you could handle all the crap/lies this Poor President and his Family have had to endure? I think NOT.

    God Forgive you all, and SHAME ON YOU!

    TRUMP/PENCE 2020 ALL THE WAY.

    Reply

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