For the third consecutive week, the number of unemployed in the United States grew at record rates: 6.6 million (after 6.9 million 7 days ago and 3.3 million 14 days ago). This video, made by Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist of Freddie Mac, perfectly illustrates the enormity of what is happening.
For the third consecutive week, the United States has registered a very high number of applications for unemployment benefits: 6.6 million. Last week there had been 6.9 million, the previous one 3.3 million: for a total, in three weeks, of 16.8 million people. This is a huge figure, unmatched in the last decades: before the last three, and as regards the period for which we have data, in the USA the hardest week in terms of lost jobs had been recorded in 1982 with a decrease – minus 695 thousand – which is one tenth of that recorded this week.
These are the first signs of depression due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected the United States more than any other country in the world – according to the total number of infections, and counting on official data. The very high unemployment, even in a highly flexible market (and therefore potentially faster also in the reabsorption of a high number of unemployed) is destined to have very serious social consequences, in part already visible.
To understand the “magnitude” of the earthquake that is shaking the US labor market, economist Len Kiefer made an extremely useful video.
Len Kiefer is the deputy chief economist of Freddie Mac – a name with which the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation is known in the United States, a private company (but with the support of the US government) specialized in the issue of mortgage loans and their resale on the market secondary. The video shows the weekly trend of unemployment claims – after the seasonal adjustment – from the 1960s to today.