White House Economic Adviser Predicts Unemployment Rate Will Still be in Double Digits on Election Day
May 24, 2020
High unemployment rates on Election Day typically spell trouble for the party in power. Thus it was significant when the Trump Administration’s chief economist recently speculated that the nation could see a continued crush of coronavirus-related joblessness into November. “Yes, unemployment will be something that moves back slower,” said Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. “But you’re going to be starting at a number in the 20s [percentage] and working your way down. So, of course, you could still not be back to full employment by September or October.” Early discovery of a COVID-19 vaccine could dramatically alter the equation, he added. Pandemic-related shutdowns triggered a spike in US unemployment rates from 3.5 percent in February to 14.7 percent in April.
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