Last week, the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development released unemployment statistics, showing a record increase in the unemployment rate. From March to April, 18.4 million people became unemployed, nearly doubling the global rate from 5.5% to 8.4%.
Of particular concern are the G7 unemployment rates. Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, and Canada unemployment rates doubled from 4.6% to 9.1%. However, not all of the G7 nations experienced crippling job loss. Japan’s rate barely nudged 0.1% in March and April, while the US rate doubled from 5.2% to 10.3%
According to the Department of Labor, the US unemployment rate is declining. In the week ending June 6th, 1.5 million fewer Americans applied for benefits than in the previous week. In late March, the rate peaked with 6.9 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits. The greater issue is that over 20 million Americans have lost their jobs and filed for unemployment.
US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell summarized the long-term effects of the pandemic, saying it “could be well into the millions of people who don’t get to go back to their old job,” and that “it could be some years before we get back to those people finding jobs.”
We’ll have to see what this means for the global economy as the longer the pandemic continues, the longer many people will remain out of work with less and less to spend online or off.
Here’s the current unemployment data for the biggest economies around the globe: