Pandemic Causes Highest Unemployment Since Great Depression

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The U.S. unemployment rate may skyrocket to 32.1% in the second quarter of 2020, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Previously, the highest rate of unemployment in U.S. history was 24.9%, which occurred in 1933 during the Great Depression
  • During the Great Depression, both money and food were in short supply, breadlines were long and soup kitchens became mainstream; during World War II, the Emergency Price Control Act was put in place, allowing the government to set price limits and ration food and other commodities
  • Oxfam, a conglomerate of 19 organizations working to end global poverty, estimated that the COVID-19 crisis could send half a billion more people into poverty
  • Unemployment and financial insecurity puts mental health at risk; during the Great Recession, at least 10,000 additional “economic suicides” occurred between 2008 and 2010
  • Consider planting a vegetable garden and be sure to tend to your mental health, especially if you’re one of the millions being affected by job losses, unemployment and social distancing

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