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Unemployment, Economic Recovery And The Coronavirus

A framing art gallery is closed in Venice Beach, California' during the COVID-19 novel coronavirus on April 01, 2020. (APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)
A framing art gallery is closed in Venice Beach, California' during the COVID-19 novel coronavirus on April 01, 2020. (APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

COVID-19 is taking lives and livelihoods. The U.S. is posting historic unemployment numbers. But it didn’t have to be this way. So why is it?

Guests

Betsey Stevenson, professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan. ( @BetseyStevenson)

Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University. ( @WilsonSchool)

From The Reading List

The Hill: “ Should we follow the Swiss in dealing with COVID-19?” — “Currently 144 countries have confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. They vary in size, income, culture, and governance. Each offers a real-world laboratory in the quest for the right program to deal with the pandemic.”

Bloomberg: “ Left-Behind Americans Are Seeing Reversal of Hard-Won Job Gains” — “The hot U.S. job market that was pulling in struggling Americans has overnight turned cold, creating barriers to work that may persist after the coronavirus abates.”

The New York Times: “ Jobs Aren’t Being Destroyed This Fast Elsewhere. Why Is That?” — “The coronavirus pandemic is laying bare structural deficiencies in America’s social programs. The relief package passed by Congress last week provides emergency fixes for some of these issues, but it also leaves critical problems untouched. To avoid a Great Depression, Congress must quickly design a more forceful response to the crisis.”

Los Angeles Times: “ Op-Ed: Millions need unemployment benefits. Unfortunately, the delivery system is broken” — “More than 10 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in March as businesses shut their doors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The stay-at-home orders now covering most of the country could, economists project, idle 20% or more of the workforce in the weeks ahead.”

NPR: “ State Unemployment Systems Crumple Under Unprecedented Demand” — “As about 10 million Americans have lost their jobs, a scale of economic agony governments are still struggling to handle. For furloughed workers, fighting overwhelmed websites is one more indignity.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.