Fed's Bullard says US economy not in 'free fall' despite 32% unemployment projection
Added 04-05-20 04:02:02pm EST - “"The uptake on the unemployment insurance program is a good thing because it means you're getting the transfers to the people that are being disrupted by this health-ordered shutdown," St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard…” - Cnbc.com
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St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said Sunday he did not believe the U.S. economy or jobs market was in "free fall" as the coronavirus sweeps the country.
"We're asking people to stay home to invest in national health, and we're asking them to use the unemployment insurance program in order to get the transfers they need to be able to pay bills while they're at home, while they're not able to work because health authorities are trying to get the virus under control," Bullard said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
Bullard's comments come days after the latest weekly jobs report showed 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment, bringing the two-week total to 10 million jobless claims.
The Fed's St. Louis district in late March estimated the U.S. could see as many as 47 million people lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus-driven shutdown. Job losses of that magnitude would bring the country's unemployment rate to about 32%, a figure higher than what was seen during the Great Depression.
The Fed's "back-of-the-envelope" estimate did not account for workers who potentially choose to leave the labor force, which would bring down the headline unemployment rate.
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