The US economy is in rough shape, and things are going to get worse. That was the dire prediction from not one but two of the White House's top economic advisers Sunday, per the Washington Post:
- "The reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday. "I think you’re going to have a very, very bad second quarter." Asked by host Chris Wallace whether the nation's unemployment rate was "close to 25% at this point, which is Great Depression neighborhood," Mnuchin replied, "Chris, we could be."
- "To get unemployment rates like the ones that we’re about to see ... which I think will climb up towards 20% by next month, you have to really go back to the Great Depression to see that," said White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett on CBS' Face the Nation. He predicted the rate will be "north of 20%" by next month, and added that "nobody knows" when the jobless will be able to go back to work.
- But it wasn't all dire; Mnuchin predicted the job market could start to improve by September. The situation we're in, he noted, "is no fault of American business, it is no fault of American workers, it is the fault of a virus." And Vox notes that on ABC's This Week, Larry Kudlow, director of the Trump administration’s National Economic Council, said that of the latest unemployment numbers, "80% of it was furloughs and temporary layoffs," which "suggests strongly that the cord between the worker and the business is still intact."
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