Unemployment Amidst Pandemic

Unemployment Remaining Historically High Amidst Pandemic
Unemployment GraphicIn 2007 the U.S. faced “The Great Recession”, or an overall general market decline due to financial vulnerabilities. These said vulnerabilities led to roughly 1.2 million U.S. homeowners to cease paying their mortgage due to the depreciation of their property, which led to the disbandment or downfall of the housing market. This then led to a severe increase in the U.S. unemployment rate, rising from 4.6% to 10% in a single year. However 2020 has proven to be an overachiever; the U.S. unemployment rate is historically high, and continues to rise at an alarming rate due to the pandemic. At the beginning of 2020 the unemployment rate was 3.6%, and continued to rise to an estimated 13% in five months time. While the numbers have staggered the past few months, the average unemployment rate for 2020 is roughly 10%, a great majority of those unemployed being older individuals, women, and people of color. Currently upwards of 800,000 U.S. citizens have claimed unemployment during the pandemic, 15.6% being adults 65 and up (Highest recorded unemployment rate for that age bracket since 1948), 7.7% of women 20 years of age and up, and 31.3% of ethnic groups in America. While the peak of the pandemic caused mass chaos and unemployment rates to skyrocket, the labor market is beginning to calm down, but in turn, individuals being laid off during this cool down period are finding their situation to be much more permanent than anticipated. In an effort to stave off the economic effects of the pandemic, President Trump and treasury officials have been working to send out funds in the form of stimulus checks in an effort to combat the severe decline in household funds across the country. While the first wave of stimulus funds were sent out in April, the continuous decline in the U.S.’s economy has prompted another round to be sent to Americans. Aside from the general economic decline in the United States, Ohio has been no exception. The unemployment rate for Ohio currently is staggeringly high compared to the unemployment rate during the 2007 recession which lasted into 2009. In September of 2020 Ohio’s unemployment rate reached 8.4%, doubling since February 2020. This increase in unemployment means that one-fifth of Ohioans lost their jobs during the initial pandemic shut-down, and as of September, a very slim percentage of individuals have been re-employed.The Interim Economic Projections for 2020 are not in the clear, in the second half of 2020 the U.S. is expected to witness the steepest economic declines since the 1930’s and reach an estimated unemployment average of 15%. As for the economic future of the United States there is no definitive way to determine the exact severity this recession can reach, the state of the economy is dependent on the figure heads in the U.S. government and how the situation is handled.

By: Rachel Marshall