comScore

Andrew Yang Warns 42 Percent of Lost Jobs Won’t Return, Economy Facing ‘Two Times the Great Recession — Permanently’

America’s economy is “teetering into a new Great Depression,” former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang warned Thursday. He added the country is facing the prospect that nearly half of jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic will not return.

“We have to face facts that 42 percent of these jobs will not come back,” Yang said in an interview on CNN. “You’re looking at, essentially, long-standing or permanent job loss of 15 million-plus. And for reference, the Great Recession cost us less than 9 million jobs. So you’re looking at something almost two times the Great Recession — permanently.”

Yang was commenting on Labor Department employment figures released Thursday that found 2.4 million Americans filed new unemployment claims last week. That figure brings the total number of unemployment claims filed since the coronavirus pandemic began to 38.6 million. Unemployment is expected to reach around 20 percent by the end of May, compared to 25 percent during the Great Depression.

Researchers from the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute estimated this month that 42 percent of jobs lost during the pandemic will not return due to a combination of companies going bankrupt and stagnant consumer spending.

Yang’s nonprofit, Humanity Forward, is spearheading an initiative to provide 20,000 “microgrants” worth $250 in direct cash assistance to individuals. Yang prominently advocated for a universal basic income program during his campaign in the amount of $1,000 monthly for working-age Americans.

He added that the federal government needed to pass “enormous stimulus measures” to prevent the economy from “teetering into a new Great Depression,” saying, “Unfortunately we’re going through 10 years’ worth of change in 10 weeks. The trends I was concerned about, people being sent home because their jobs were going to be automated away, we are experiencing a version of that. I’m optimistic, at least, that we can accelerate some of the solutions as well as the problems.”

Watch above via CNN.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Mediaite: