Kudlow: 'Very difficult' unemployment numbers possible in May too

Kudlow: 'Very difficult' unemployment numbers possible in May too
© Aaron Schwartz

White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE said Sunday that the unemployment statistics in May could “also be very difficult" after a record 20 million people lost their jobs in April amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Kudlow told ABC’s “This Week” that it will “take a while” for the reopening efforts underway in a number of states to have a positive effect on the U.S. economy and unemployment. 

“I don’t want to sugarcoat it because I think those numbers for May are gonna be also very difficult numbers,” he said. “It’s going to take a while for the reopening to have an impact, so there’s that.”

But Kudlow also said that there's a "glimmer of hope" inside the unemployment data, noting that 80 percent of the  claims involve those who were furloughed or experiencing temporary layoffs. 

“That, by the way, doesn’t assure that you’ll go back to a job. But it suggests strongly that the cord between the worker and the business is still intact,” he said.

Kudlow credits the federal government assistance, including the Paycheck Protection Program, with having “something to do” with the high percentage of unemployed people still having their connection with the former companies intact. 

Last week, the Department of Labor reported the unemployment rate reached 14.7 percent – the highest since the U.S. began tracking it in 1948. Since mid-March, more than 33 million people have applied for unemployment claims.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams Biden swipes at Trump: 'Presidency is about a lot more than tweeting from your golf cart' GOP sues California over Newsom's vote-by-mail order MORE said on “Fox and Friends” Friday that “all” of the lost jobs will “be back very soon.”