Treasury Secretary: U.S. unemployment rate will get worse before it gets better

May 11, 2020

Treasury Secretary: U.S. unemployment rate will get worse before it gets better

On Sunday night Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that the worst of the nation’s historic job losses are yet to come, saying, “the reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better.”

Mnuchin’s comments were in harmony with Friday’s report from the Labor Department which showed the U.S. lost 20.5 million jobs in April, which brought the jobless rate to 14.7%, its highest level since the Great Depression.

But that number may even be larger, as it doesn’t take into account the millions of workers who have stopped searching for jobs or those considered “underemployed.”

When asked if the nation’s true unemployment rate was close to 25%, Mnuchin said, “we could be.”

“This is no fault of American business, this is no fault of American workers, this is a result of a virus,” he added. “You’re going to have a very, very bad second quarter.”

He went on to say the economy would “have a better third quarter,” followed by “a better fourth quarter, and next year is going to be a great year.”

The Trump administration is considering additional stimulus measures, including a payroll tax cut, according to Mnuchin, who also said, “We’re not gonna do things just to bail out states that were poorly managed.” 

But he said the White House would wait a “few weeks” before considering another relief bill.


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