RALEIGH – While the debates continue as to the true risks of the Wuhan coronavirus, with competing models and experts offering perspectives, the charts formed by weekly economic releases are not hypothetical. Weekly jobless claims were reported Thursday, adding another 4.4 million new unemployment claims, and bringing the toll of coronavirus closure policies to 26 Million.
“[…] The spike in unemployment has likely pushed the jobless rate to between 15% and 20%, economists estimate. The only other time in American history when unemployment was that high was in the early stages of the Great Depression almost a century ago.
In less than two months, the pandemic has eliminated all the 23 million jobs created after the 2007-2009 Great Recession. […]
The sharp and sudden flood in unemployment is the worst since the 1930s. Just a month and a half ago, new jobless claims were in the low 200,000s and stood near a 50-year low. Only about 1.7 million Americans were collecting benefits. […]”
And we’re not even near the end. While new claims have been slowing — 6.6 million, 5.25 million, 4.4 million — they’re still expected by analysts to stay elevated into the millions for weeks. How many people will end up unemployed as a result of social isolation policies that have forced economic halts across the country – 35 Million? 45 million?
Further, how much longer can certain parts of the economy hold on before critical failures initiate domino effects that further exacerbate the economic crisis?