Treasury secretary: If government doesn't act, unemployment could hit 20%

by Daniel Payne · Mar 18th, 2020 6:29 am

Last Updated Mar 18th, 2020 at 8:11 am

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Tuesday that the coronavirus epidemic could lead to a staggering 20 percent unemployment rate if the government does not quickly work to counteract the economic fallout from the pandemic, according to Bloomberg.

The American economy has been thrown into turmoil by the disease since its arrival in the United States in January. Lockdowns, shutdowns, quarantines and curfews have devastated countless small businesses, with restaurants and retailers reporting virtually no commerce as people avoid crowded public spaces for fear of catching or spreading the disease.

Mnuchin on Tuesday warned that, absent major government intervention, the American economy could see as many as one out of every five workers losing their jobs in the near future. The federal government is considering sending hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of checks to Americans over the next several weeks in order to offset the effects of the pandemic. "This is not the time to worry about [the deficit]," Mnuchin said of Washington's efforts to forestall economic catastrophe.


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