In just three months, the coronavirus pandemic has driven unemployment in the United States to levels akin the 1930s Great Depression. The COVID-19 outbreak has claimed 33 million American jobs since March 13 – 10% of the entire US population.
According to official figures, unemployment rate in America rose from 4.4% to 14.7% – a figure that might not truly represent the wide scale of job loss.
The Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims report on Thursday is expected to show the number of people on jobless benefits hitting a new record high in mid-May.
Today’s report will help us determine how quickly the economy rebounds after businesses closed in mid-March to curb the spread of COVID-19 outbreak.
The second wave of layoffs could be bigger. On Wednesday, Boeing Co. announced it was shedding more than 12,000 US job and also disclosed it planned several thousand remaining layoffs in the next few months.
Earlier this month, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi the ride-hailing company has cut 23 percent of its workforce. “Given the evolving nature of Covid-19 and the uncertainty it has caused for every industry in every part of the world, it is impossible to predict with precision the pandemic’s cumulative impact on our future financial results,” the company said in a statement. In a call with analysts, Dara Khosrowshahi had assured investors that it had a cushion of nearly $4billion to see it through the crisis.
Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM is also cutting an unspecified number of jobs in its first major workforce reduction under the new chief executive office Arvind Krishna.
It said in a statement on May 21: “IBM’s work in a highly competitive marketplace requires flexibility to constantly remix high-value skills, and our workforce decisions are made in the long-term interests of our business.”
Across the Atlantic, unemployment rates are yet to match the level of devastation experienced in the US. The UK is looking at 9% unemployment, meanwhile Germany’s unemployment rate is predicted to reach 3.9%, up from 3.2% around the same time last year.
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