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Will the Great Depression make a comeback?

the Great Depression

On March 21, 2020, the United States already had initial unemployment data. Exceeding market expectations, the number of applicants reached 3.28 million, a record high.

The current unemployment situation in the United States. Before March 7, employment in the United States was not affected by the epidemic. In the week of March 7, the number of people applying for unemployment benefits for the first time in the United States was 211,000, a decrease of 4,000 compared to the previous week. It is still healthy. This shows that the United States is in a good employment track range.

The actual data began to fluctuate, that is, the data for the week of March 14, the number of people applying for relief reached 282,000, a slight increase. On March 21, the number of people applying for unemployment benefits soared to a record high this week. 1.7 million people have far exceeded expectations, and market expectations are about 1.5 to 1.7 million people. It can be said that this data is close to the record, 5 times the highest record since the historical record, almost equivalent to 2% of the US working population.

In March 2009, at the time of the financial tsunami, the first data for unemployment benefits was 665,000. It was also in October 1982, when it was the crisis in Latin America, setting a historical record of 695,000. In other words, the highest historical record is 695,000, 3.28 million divided by 695,000, which may be close to 5 times. In the next few weeks, the unemployed population in the United States may exceed 10 million, which is no exaggeration.

When the Great Depression was the worst in 1929, the unemployment rate in the United States reached 25%, which is a very serious unemployment rate. In other words, a quarter of people are unemployed but have not yet reached this level. A consulting report from the United States shows that in the next few weeks, 23 million people may be unemployed at any time in the United States, accounting for 15% of the country's total employed population.

Over the past 30 to 40 years, the United States has undergone this global economic transformation, including industrial chain outsourcing and industrial transfer. Its economy is already very dependent on this service industry, and the service industry accounts for a high proportion of the economy. The added value of the service industry reached US$15 trillion. In 2019, the total GDP of the United States is 21 trillion US dollars, and the service industry accounts for about 80%. In fact, in the United States, many types of work are calculated on an hourly basis, that is, hourly rates are paid by the hour. Then, some people not only have to work one job, or even two jobs to ensure a normal life. Affected by the epidemic this time, a large number of retailers, restaurants, hotels, and other hourly workers disappeared and were greatly affected.

It can be said that this is the part that bears the brunt, because the service industry is the pillar industry of the United States, and the purchasing manager's index of the service industry has also dropped by 10.3 compared with last month. 39.1. This indicator can be said to be the lowest level since October 2009. The unemployment data in the United States is very transparent, and the data is updated very quickly. The United States has just launched a $2 trillion stimulus plan. Under this bill, the US government will provide $1,200 in cash for each adult.

What are the benefits of this series of policies? The biggest benefit of this stimulus policy is not necessarily the ability to save the economy, but it can win time, enterprises can survive, SMEs can be saved, and employment can be saved. This is the current employment and unemployment situation in the United States. It's really serious. This can also be said to be the most severe employment situation since the Great Depression of 1929.

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