According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US unemployment rate reached 14.7%. The rate was 4.7% in March.
Lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic have made businesses suffer. The rise in unemployment is indicative of the impact the virus is having on the economy.
The economy lost over 20.7 million jobs during this period. The number represents over a decade’s worth of job gains gone in little over a month.
The spike in unemployment and fall in jobs is the highest ever seen in a one-month period, surpassing the Great Depression as well.
Between March and April, the US economy lost a total of 21.4 million jobs.
Could Unemployment Numbers Reach Normalcy After Reopening?
While the numbers do look bad right now, the question is whether they will return back to normal once the economy reopens. Many working people who lost jobs during this period are hoping for a smooth restart, but things may not be as simple.
The answer remains unknown. The lockdown started to slow the spread of the virus, made 90% of the American population to stay at home. It is not yet clear whether the businesses that closed down during this period will have the resources to open back up.
However, the longer the economy remains closed, the greater losses can be expected on the jobs front. It remains unlikely that the 20.4 million jobs that went away in over a month will return in a matter of months.
The Question of Reopening
The steep rise in unemployment brings the question of reopening the economy into the spotlight. The question of reopening the economy has become a political topic. President Trump’s eagerness to reopen the economy immediately received criticism from health experts as well as Democrats. News of the White House ignoring CDC guidelines to reopen the economy has also not helped the cause of reopening.
States like Michigan are seeing protests against an extension of the lockdown. The question of reopening, made political now, is deeply tied to the economic well-being of the country.
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