White House: Unemployment rate will top 20%

Senior White House economic advisor warns latest unemployment rate doesn't include latest round of layoffs. '

Tags: unemployment
David Rosenberg ,

Unemployment
Unemployment
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The US unemployment rate hit 14.7%, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this past week, but that may just be the tip of the iceberg, a senior Trump administration official said Sunday.

Employment rolls plummeted by 20.5 million in April, making last month the worst month of job losses in US history.

The unemployment rate also marked a historical high since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started keeping records in 1948.

Despite some states softening coronavirus restrictions, however, the unemployment level will continue to worsen, White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett told “Face the Nation” on Sunday, and that the unemployment rate will likely top 20%.

"Right now, looking across the U.S., there are more than 30 million people that are getting initial claims from unemployment insurance, and that's the biggest negative shock to the jobs market that we've seen since World War II," Hassett said Sunday.

Hassett compared the collapse of the jobs market during the coronavirus pandemic and government lockdowns to the Great Depression, when the unemployment rate is estimated to have hit a peak of 24.9% in 1933.

"To get unemployment rates like the ones that we're about to see, to get back to your question, which I think will climb up towards 20% by next month, you have to really go back to the Great Depression to see that," Hassett continued. "I think you can expect to see jobs probably trough in May or June."

Nevertheless, Hassett expressed optimism regarding the economy’s ability to rebound from the coronavirus closures, citing the more than two trillion dollar federal relief package.




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