An additional 2.4 million Americans filed jobless claims during the past week, bringing the total number of unemployed Americans to 38.6 million, or about 23 percent of the workforce.
“The hemorrhaging has continued,” Torsten Slok, chief economist for Deutsche Bank Securities, told the New York Times.
Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom has authored a study claiming that up to 42 percent of the layoffs that have occurred during the pandemic will become permanent
“I hate to say it, but this is going to take longer and look grimmer than we thought,” Bloom told the Times.
Closures imposed to mitigate the spread of coronavirus have continued to take a toll on the American economy, even as U.S. states begin to move forward with plans to open businesses in regions less affected by the pandemic. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warned lawmakers on the Senate Banking Committee that the economy risked “permanent damage” if shutdowns continue for too long.
“We’re conscious of the health issues and we want to [reopen] in a safe way,” Mnuchin said. However, the Treasury Secretary cautioned, “I think the jobs numbers will be worse before they get better.”