Coronavirus pandemic is destroying the economy and public health in over 200 countries. America is the most affected country, with over half a million positive cases and 20,000 deaths. President Trump and his administration are blamed for their slow and lackluster response in handling the outbreak. As per the report by the US Department of Labor, another set of 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, making it to a total of over 16 to 17 million in the past few weeks due to coronavirus.
This is the second-largest number of initial unemployment claims since the tracking data by the Department of Labor in 1967. A total of 11% US labor force filed for jobless benefits in just three weeks alone. When compared with the Great Recession of 2008, job losses happened at a slower pace. It took more than two years for 8.6 million American citizens to lose their jobs during the recession. However, presently more than double the number of people lost their jobs in just three weeks. Noted economists Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz explained - “The total number of Americans who filed for unemployment is equal to the entire adult populations of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. That’s the gravity of the present virus outbreak in the country.”
Notable economists also suggest that job losses will not stop but will only continue. The unemployment rate can go into double digits in the next few months itself, increasing from 4.4% in March 2020. They also believe that the federal government’s relief package of $2.2 trillion will decrease the burden for the taxpayers. Economists from Bank of America predict that employers will fire as many as 20 million people, with the rate reaching 15.6% from now to that of June.
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