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Economically, 4 Weeks of Coronavirus = 4 Years Of Great Depression

unemployment line
Economists say the COVID-19 pandemic could trigger unemployment rates in Michigan as high as 23 percent by this summer.

Michigan economists say the coronavirus could bring state unemployment to levels unseen since the Great Depression. 


The U-S Labor Department reports more than 800,000 Michigan residents have filed for unemployment insurance since March 15. 

Michigan State University economist Charles Ballard cites a University of Michigan study that predicts state unemployment could hit 23 percent in the second quarter of this year.

“Which is Great Depression levels…far above the level that we saw during the Great Recession of a decade ago,” says Ballard.

Another study by the firm Moody’s Analytics finds the national daily output of goods and services has dropped 29 percent since mid-March. 

Ballard says that’s a greater drop in four weeks than during the four years between 1929 and 1933. 


Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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