- White House economic advisers said Sunday they are expecting “difficult” unemployment numbers in May.
- “The numbers for May are going to be also very difficult numbers,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday on ABC’s This Week.
- “It looks like we’re probably going to get close to 20% in the next report,” Kevin Hassett, another White House economic adviser said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, just days after the US reported an unemployment rate of 14.7%.
- Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday that “reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
White House economic advisers said Sunday that the US is likely to see “very difficult” unemployment numbers in May, with unemployment rates nearing 20%.
Last month, as the US continued to battle the coronavirus, the country saw the unemployment rate jump to 14.7% with a devastating loss of 20.5 million jobs, according to a report released Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The disappointing figures for April are the worst the US has seen since the Great Depression and are particularly shocking when compared to those in February when unemployment was at a 50-year low of 3.5%.
Telling George Stephanopoulos on ABC New’s This Week that he doesn’t want to “sugarcoat it,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said he believes, with regard to the US unemployment figures, that “the numbers for May are going to be also very difficult numbers.”
Kevin Hassett, another White House economic adviser, provided a more specific prediction in remarks to Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union.
“Just looking at the flow of initial claims,” he said, “it looks like we’re probably going to get close to 20% in the next report.” Hassett further explained he expects to see a transition around the middle of summer with the possibility of “very strong growth” in the third or fourth quarters.
As COVID-19 spreads across the US, where there are more than 1 million cases and over 70,000 reported deaths, the country has largely shut down, with many businesses closing their doors and workers finding themselves out of a job.
The troubling US unemployment numbers and the less-than-optimistic projections come despite the federal government’s multi-trillion-dollar initiatives to stimulate the economy, support struggling businesses, and keep workers on the payroll.
On Friday, President Donald Trump shrugged off the April jobs report, saying that the reported numbers were “expected” and are “no surprise” while claiming that “those jobs will be back and they’ll be back very soon.”
The Trump administration has been pushing to re-open the US, even as the death toll from the novel coronavirus continues to climb.
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
Commenting on the latest unemployment statistics, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that “these are not large numbers because the economy isn’t doing well. These are large numbers because we’ve shut down the economy.”
Mnuchin predicted that the “reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better.”
He said there was “considerable risk” should the US not re-open, explaining that there could be “permanent economic damage to the American public.” At the same time, he stressed that any attempt to re-open the country would need to be done in a “very thoughtful way that gets people back to work safely.”
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe