WH Adviser Hassett: US economy faces historic shock, with 16% joblessness possible


The White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett told the ABC program “This Week” on Sunday, the US economic shocks due to the coronavirus pandemic will likely drag the national unemployment rate down to 16% or higher this month, which would call for additional economic stimulus.

Key quotes

“It’s a really grave situation.” 

“This is the biggest negative shock that our economy, I think, has ever seen. We’re going to be looking at an unemployment rate that approaches rates that we saw during the Great Depression of the 1930s.”

“I think the unemployment rate is going to jump to a level probably around 16 percent or even higher in the next jobs report.” 

“The second-quarter drop expected in the nation’s GDP would be a “big number.”

“I think the next couple of months are going to look terrible. You’re going to see numbers as bad as anything we’ve ever seen before.”

A record 26.5 million Americans have filed for jobless benefits since mid-March, and retail sales, homebuilding and consumer confidence have all cratered.

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