These are difficult times for Americans and indeed people around the world. Not only has the coronavirus killed hundreds of thousands and—in conjunction with (counterproductive) political interventions—brought the global economy to its knees, but it has all happened so remarkably fast. It was only three months ago when most of us didn’t really know much about the “novel coronavirus” at all.
The latest report on new unemployment claims was abysmal, coming in at 4.4
million last week, some 100,000 more than surveyed economists had expected. The continuous claims came in at just under 16 million, an all-time record. Mainstream labor economists estimate that, all things considered, the actual unemployment rate now (which is only officially reported with a lag) is above 20 percent—a rate not seen since the darkest days of the Great Depression. Indeed, all of the job gains since the Great Recession have been wiped out in just a matter of weeks.