CORONAVIRUS

Is Great Depression unemployment worst than 2020 coronavirus crisis

The worst unemployment America has ever seen came in 1933 but the 2020 coronavirus pandemic has seen the worst figures since then.

Is Great Depression unemployment worst than 2020 coronavirus crisis
OLIVIER DOULIERY AFP

The coronavirus pandemic has caused millions of Americans to lose their job. The US government has stepped in with relief for those workers and stimulus checks to see them through this uncertain times. Currently, there are 33.5 million people out of work but it could be worst.

The worst unemployment rate America has ever seen was during the Great Depression. In 1933, it hit 24.9%. That is a staggeringly high number when you consider it has only ever reached double digits twice since then. Once in 1982, it hit 10%, and again for a month in October 2009. That was dubbed the Great Recession.

Unemployment is a tricky thing to define with politicians messaging the numbers to fit their purpose.

Current unemployment rate as high as 20%

According to some statistics, the current unemployment rate is 20%, which would make it the worst this century and the worst since the Great Depression.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said not all workers accurately responded to a question about their employment status. Some people who weren’t actually working but still considered themselves as having a job didn’t end up being counted as unemployed. Furloughed workers, for instance.

“The unemployment rate ‘only’ rose to 14.7%, but the ‘real’ number is worse,” noted Neil Dutta, head of economics at Macro Renaissance Research.