May 8, 2020 – The group is calling for a robust approach from local, state and federal officials and agencies to ensure those who lose their jobs because of the pandemic can find work.
“Unemployment during the Great Recession was associated with an increase in suicide deaths and drug overdose deaths,” according to the Well Being Trust.
For instance, deaths from both suicide and drug overdoses rose along with unemployment during the 2008 recession. Unemployment went from 4.6% in 2007 to a peak of 10% in October 2009 and declined steadily reaching 3.5% in early 2010, according to the group.
White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told CNN Tuesday he expects the US unemployment rate was above 16% in April.
“My guess right now is it’s going to be north of 16%, maybe as high as 20%,” he said. “We’re looking at probably the worst unemployment rate since the Great Depression.”
It’s possible that coronavirus may make some new job opportunities available. For instance, states need people to help with contact tracing and other health needs. And that presents an opportunity to re-employ those in need.