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Tags: economy | depression | unemployment | coronavirus

US Economy in Depression: Unemployment Will Surge to 15 Percent

US Economy in Depression: Unemployment Will Surge to 15 Percent

Peter Morici By Friday, 03 April 2020 09:12 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

The Labor Department on Friday reported the economy lost 701,000 jobs in March and unemployment soared to at 4.4 percent.

This grossly understates the tragedy about to befall American workers, because the report was based on a survey early in the month before unemployment claims surged by about 10 million.

The April jobs report will record losses easily exceeding 1 million and a huge spike in the unemployment rate.

Unemployment will easily rise to 15 percent and GDP will plunge by $3.5 trillion if the coronavirus lockdowns don't end by May. The economy will recover slowly and will be radically changed, because many businesses have permanently closed and many jobs are lost forever.

Stock investors can expect continued turbulence and a slow recovery to the record high prices set in February. Many bond issues will fail, absent direct intervention by the Federal Reserve and Treasury that would impose losses on taxpayers.

Stimulus spending will arrive too little and too late and too scattershot.

Federal dollars will often deliver the wrong incentives.

Unemployment benefits are excessive for many workers and will encourage many low-wage workers to avoid moving to new opportunities. Many self-employed will encounter huge income losses and receive little help.

Whole sections of the economy will receive little aid while the airline industry will paper over its irresponsible behavior with taxpayer money.

The stimulus package was the product of the usual partisan gamesmanship with each side trying to obtain long-term goals instead joining hand to addressing the immediate crisis.

The vanity of negotiators created an ensemble of Neros, and the economy and hopes and dreams of the American people will burn.

Republicans and Democrats — and lobbyists representing all sides — hung ornaments that sparkle and glimmer to the selfish recesses of their souls, and now they can watch their Christmas tree of vanity, pride and greed go aflame.

Peter Morici is an economist and business professor at the University of Maryland, and a national columnist. He tweets @pmorici1

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Partisan political gamesmanship created an ensemble of Neros setting the economy aflame
economy, depression, unemployment, coronavirus
Friday, 03 April 2020 09:12 AM
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