The US and South Korea got coronavirus on the same day, but only America’s economy has been destroyed. This is why

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This week, Trump has tried to deflect blame by even suggesting that he couldn’t adequately respond to coronavirus because of impeachment proceedings ( Win McNamee/Getty )

It’s hard to overstate just how bad the jobs news of the last eight days is. With Thursday’s epic report that 6.6 million Americans filed claims for unemployment insurance last week, doubling the 3.3 million the week before that were reported last Thursday, we’ve likely lost as many jobs in three weeks as we lost during the entire Great Recession of 2007-09.

And it’s going to get worse. A lot worse.

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With the March jobs report due out Friday, the headline number won’t begin to capture the damage. The unemployment rate, and estimate of monthly job creation, is based on two surveys done the week of the 12th of the month — in this case, the week before the hammer dropped and most of America shut down to combat the spread of coronavirus.

But the 10 million jobs lost, plus the 6 million people the Labor Department said were unemployed in February, divided by the 165 million Americans in the work force, mean the unemployment rate for April is likely to be about 9.9 per cent or 10 per cent. Give or take the jobs being added at supermarkets and delivery services, and people who lost jobs but aren’t filing for unemployment, those are the numbers we’re looking at.

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