During the height of the Great Depression, unemployment reached 24.9 percent. Under the Coronavirus pandemic, it could be much worse.
With governments throughout the world shutting down their economies and ordering citizens to “shelter in place,” million upon millions of people are finding themselves suddenly unemployed by government edicts.
However, here in the United States, it is going to get worse—much worse—before it gets better.
In fact, unemployment may actually surpass the number of unemployed during the worst part of the Great Depression, according to the Federal Reserve in St. Louis.
Economists at the Fed’s St. Louis district project total employment reductions of 47 million, which would translate to a 32.1% unemployment rate, according to a recent analysis of how bad things could get.
The projections are even worse than St. Louis Fed President James Bullard’s much-publicized estimate of 30%.
During the Great Depression, the highest unemployment reached was 24.9 percent in 1933.