Unemployment in the United States reached the historic figure of 14.7% last week as a result of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, but this situation could be much worse, several White House officials warned.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday that the current unemployment rate could be closer to 25%.
“The reported numbers are likely to worsen before improving. That is why we are focused on rebuilding the economy,” Mnuchin said.
“But let me emphasize, unlike the Great Depression, when the economic problems that led to this, (this time around) we shut down the economy,” Mnuchin said. “Therefore, it would not be a surprise if half of the people do not work.”
The official added that this situation is not the fault of the American businesses or the workers, but the result of a virus.
Kevin Hassett, economic adviser to the White House, also outlined a black outlook by assuring CNN that the unemployment rate may hit 20% in the next May report.
In the brutal April jobs report the government released on Friday, a record 20.5 million people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic were revealed.
We explain the five ways that a high unemployment rate could affect your pocket during and after the pandemic.
Congress is clearly divided on providing additional financial aid, a situation that has prompted some Republicans to express concern about the growing federal debt.
President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said on Sunday for ABC’s “This Week” that “many people would rather just pause momentarily” to assess the impact of the government’s economic aid package of two trillion dollars approved in late March.
In just over a month, the coronavirus has left the worst unemployment figure since the Great Recession, ending the nation’s streak of economic growth in decades.