DETROIT – With most of the nation under stay-at-home orders for the entire month of April, the U.S. unemployment rate hit 14.7% -- the highest it has been since the Great Depression.
In one month, the rate jumped more than 10 points from the 4.4% for the month of March.
An estimated 20 million jobs have been lost.
In January, the country was in a position where employers couldn’t find enough people to employ. Patrick Anderson, an economist with the Anderson Economic Group, said the change is devastating.
“We have Depression-level unemployment. We have 20% of our workforce out," Anderson said. "The biggest employer in our state is the state unemployment office.”
Many residents haven’t received money in nearly two months, college graduates who thought there was a booming job market to enter don’t have jobs to interview for and, for some, the unemployment benefits exceed their regular take-home income.
“It’s warping the way we look at work and I’m very concerned about that,” Anderson said.
Anderson said all of this is leading to many businesses not being able to reopen when the time comes and it will also create vast drops in income tax, property tax and sales taxes for the state and local governments -- which means they are staring down an unprecedented economic storm that dwarfs 2009′s Great Recession.
"How we are gonna have municipal budgets, state parks, state police? How we gonna pay for schools next year when property taxes get hammered?” Anderson asked.
Anderson said it’s not easy to come back from these kinds of economic upheavals. He believes we won’t see the economy we have for years, perhaps even a decade.