16.8 million Americans out of work; world economy takes a beating

16.8 million Americans out of work; world economy takes a beating

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


NEW YORK (AP) — A staggering 16.8 million Americans lost their jobs in just three weeks in a measure of how fast the coronavirus has brought world economies to their knees.

Numbers released Thursday by the US government showed that 6.6 million American workers applied for unemployment benefits last week, on top of more than 10 million in the two weeks before that. That amounts to about 1 in 10 American workers — the biggest, fastest pileup of job losses since the world's largest economy began keeping records in 1948.

And still more job cuts are expected. The US unemployment rate in April could hit 15 per cent — a number not seen since the tail end of the Great Depression.

Sharon Bridgeman, 57, of Kansas City, Missouri, was laid off from her job two weeks ago at a non-profit that helps homeless people and is still waiting to be approved for unemployment benefits.

"I'm worried I may not have a job to go back to," she said. "I'm also worried about the people I work with."

In the US, the Federal Reserve announced it will provide up to US$2.3 trillion in loans targeted toward both households and businesses.

In many European countries, where the social safety nets tend to be stronger than in the US, government programmes that subsidize workers' pay are keeping millions of people on payrolls in places like Germany and France, though typically with fewer hours and at lower wages.

The head of the International Monetary Fund warned that the global economy is headed for the worst recession since the Depression. The United Nations' labour organization said the equivalent of 195 million full-time jobs could be lost in the second quarter, while the aid organization Oxfam International estimated half a billion people worldwide could be pushed into poverty.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT