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US to unveil April unemployment figures as job loss mount


US to unveil April unemployment figures as job loss mount

us job figures
Photo: Cristopbal Herrera/EPA

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to publish April jobs data today, with payroll losses expected at 20 million and a record-high unemployment rate of 16%.

Despite nationwide earnings slipping 12.7%, the country can expect a short-term rise in investor confidence as some activity restarts in certain states. However, the threat of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases is too large a risk to assume long-term stability. Even if businesses can reopen, laws restricting capacity cast doubt on the prospects of reaching pre-pandemic levels of consumption anytime soon.

Further obfuscating the path to normalcy, Paid Unemployment Compensation (benefits rolled out under the CARES Act) will expire at the end of July. Fearing an unprecedentedly severe recession, House Democrats have called for the provision of a guaranteed basic income until employment returns to normal levels. Given Republican control of the Senate and the party’s opposition to increased state borrowing, the proposal is unlikely to see implementation. If lawmakers can’t agree on a long-term solution that ensures Americans see regular cash inflows while accounting for public safety, then the US will likely see a resurgence of the virus in the northern fall and face its deepest recession ever.

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