NY business columnist predicts unemployment will rise over next couple months

Josh Barro, a business columnist for New York Magazine, predicted Monday that unemployment will continue to rise over the next couple of months. 

Barro, who also hosts KCRW’s “Left, Right & Center,” told Hill.TV that the country should expect the jarring number of people who applied for unemployment claims to increase. 

The Labor Department reported last week that 3.2 million people filed for unemployment in a week, which Barro called “obviously … huge” and said it was five times larger than the previous number of claims made in a week.

“I think we should expect unemployment will get very high over the next few months,” he said. 

Barro said the current number of claims amounts to about 2 percent of American workers.

“If you look around at all the disruptions to the economy, obviously, this thing is going to put more than 2 percent of American workers out of work,” he said.

The business columnist commented on the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard’s prediction that unemployment can reach as much as 30 percent, saying he thought it was a “little bit pessimistic.”

Instead, he says the unemployment rate because of the virus will likely settle in the teens as employees switch to telework rather.

The coronavirus pandemic has plummeted the stock market as several industries face severe drops in revenue with American residents being instructed to stay at home.