Trump promised that he would “make America great again”, and while many have said to “trust the plan” and “patriots are in control”, these hackneyed phrases from boomer claptrap fly in the face of reality. Unless, that is according to numbers reported by ThompsonReuters, it involves a 34% unemployment rate.
The official U.S. unemployment rate for April, due out this Friday, will likely vastly understate job destruction from the coronavirus pandemic, so a pair of economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago set out to create a measure that captures the true extent of labor market losses.
Their estimate: a ‘U-Cov’ rate in April of somewhere between 25.1% and 34.6%. That’s compared to the 16% rate forecast by economists polled by Reuters, who also estimate American employers shed more than 20 million jobs last month.
“The official unemployment rate may only capture a fraction of these losses,” Chicago Fed economists Jason Faberman and Aastha Rajan wrote in a blog released Tuesday, describing their proposed U-Cov measure of labor market underutilization.
Many of those newly out of work will not be captured in the traditional U.S. unemployment measure, which counts only those who are out of a job and actively looking for work. (source)
It is true that Trump did not cause the virus. It is true that the economy was in terminal decline well before him. It is true that shutting down the economy, which was necessary and still is in terms of social interaction, is the only real way to stop the spread of the virus.
The fact however is that Trump has handled the crisis poorly. Most of this is likely attributable to Jared Kushner just as the flawed policies of Bush II were strongly driven by Dick Cheney, but the fact is that Trump is still the one whose name bears responsibility for his actions.
34% unemployment is just the beginning. I expect in several years, most likely less, Greek-style numbers at possibly 50% due to the ongoing effects of the virus.
The real troubles are just beginning, and now is the time to prepare before things become even worse.
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