Fed St. Louis President Estimates Unemployment Will Reach 30%

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard estimates that unemployment rates may soar as high as 30% in the second quarter following Coronavirus-related business shutdowns, according to Bloomberg.

Coronavirus, Unemployment, 30%Spencer Platt / Getty Images

“Everything is on the table” regarding additional lending programs, Bullard said Sunday in St. Louis. “There is more that we can do if necessary” with existing emergency authority. “There is probably much more in the months ahead depending on where Congress wants to go.”

Large government aid is being used to halt the economy from plummeting to depths not seen since the Great Depression, during which, unemployment hovered around 25%.

“This is a planned, organized partial shutdown of the U.S. economy in the second quarter,” Bullard continued. “The overall goal is to keep everyone, households and businesses, whole. It is a huge shock and we are trying to cope with it and keep it under control.” 

As of Sunday, total cases worldwide have surpassed 300,000. In the United States alone, there are 33,889 confirmed cases and 428 deaths. Cities and regions across the country are requiring non-essential businesses to close their doors for the time being.

“It is totally stupid to lose a major industry because of a virus,” Bullard said. “Why would you want to do that?”

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