Federal Reserve Chair Says 40% of American Households Making Less than $40,000 Annually Became Unemployed in March

On May 12, 2020, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that a significant segment of low-income earners were laid off in March.

“A Fed survey being released tomorrow reflects findings similar to many others: Among people who were working in February, almost 40% of those in households making less than $40,000 a year had lost a job in March,” Powell said during a webinar at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

“This reversal of economic fortune has caused a level of pain that is hard to capture in words, as lives are upended amid great uncertainty about the future,” he stated.

A large portion of those jobs impacted are in the service sector, which generally do not come with benefits such as paid sick leave or offer their employees remote work opportunities.

According to a survey from the Pew Research Center that was published in April also revealed that one in four lower-income adults had any savings to stave off financial shocks brought about by unemployment and other economic emergencies.

Powell understands the gravity of the situation that the virus has brought about. He also pushed for even more relief measures to keep America’s damaged economy intact.

“Additional fiscal support could be costly, but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery,” he assert.

During the past two months, over 33 million Americans have filed unemployment claims, as large numbers of businesses are closing their doors and state governments are passing stay-at-home orders.

Democrats recently rolled out a $3 trillion spending proposal with the intent of doling out handouts to states, businesses, and people rattled by the pandemic. Senate Republicans are likely going to kill such legislation once it arrives in the Senate.

It’s become clear that America must reopen or it will face tremendous economic hardship.

Shutting down the economy over a virus that does not represent an apocalyptic threat to America is unacceptable at this point and will put millions of working class Americans in economic limbo.

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