A few days ago schools, universities, restaurants, cafes, hotels, offices, factories and many other types of workplace were closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Unemployment insurance claims in the US were unprecedented at the time and, despite steps to reopen the economy, the August figures leave 13.6 million US workers unemployed.

Unemployment had hit workers looking for work during the pandemic, and new benefits for freelancers had increased the number of people seeking jobs, with young people entering the labor market, the lowest earners. Vale and others were generally outnumbered by traditional unemployment.

High unemployment should worry Americans, because even if the economic recovery is quick, the consequences could be long-term. Job loss affects workers’ incomes and can harm workers’ long-term mental and physical health. After the dot-com recession and the Great Recession, a large proportion of unemployed workers gave up their job search and dropped out of the labor force.

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