April 2, 2020

New Day's John Berman noted the top line number on unemployment claims is "double what it was last week. I think higher than the worst we even expected for this week."

"Yeah, it really is a job shock here. You got 10 million layoffs or furloughs, that means just the past couple of weeks, 10 million. It is pointless for me to make a chart of it for you, John. It just looks like a geyser going straight up," Christine Romans said.

"I'm surprised the state employment offices were able to handle this kind of volume. Last week, we know there were so many people filing for unemployment benefits, they weren't able to get all of them. Another notable thing about these numbers, the numbers doubled and it has spread from hospitality and restaurants into just about every corner of the economy, including healthcare."

"It is everywhere in just about everything, Julia, which means that, you know, it is affecting everybody. You are either unemployed now or know someone who is, people are struggling," Berman said.

"These are devastating numbers. And to Christine's point there, I think, what we also heard in the past week is governors of Ohio, Kentucky, New York saying our systems simply can't deal even now with the volumes that we're seeing," Julia Chatterley said.

"So the fear is that even with the astonishing size of the numbers we're seeing, there is still more to come and that's what all the analysts are saying. I was trying to get my arms around what we're talking about here, we're talking about Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, the entire population, not just the working population, all claiming for unemployment benefits in the space of two weeks. These are the kind of numbers that we're talking about, and the big risk here is that these numbers continue to accelerate."

John Harwood checked in. "You know, this thing is not complicated. It is not subtle. We have pulled the plug out from the American economy and the result is an economic catastrophe. How long is it going to last? That depends on the public health answer to this situation. You know, we talked about in the past, in the last few days, certainly when we had last week's numbers that the federal -- both in terms of the federal reserve and the fiscal response from Congress is like relief efforts during a hurricane.

"This is a nuclear bomb that has been dropped on the american economy. And I do think that these numbers, though shocking as they are, are going to change some of the political discussion of this going forward. Just yesterday, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, threw cold water on the idea floated by both President Trump and Nancy Pelosi for a phase four stimulus with a big infrastructure package and other elements. He said, no, we need to process what happened in the first fiscal relief. There are millions of people now who are without the means to support themselves. Yes, there is some fiscal help on the way, but on the way is not the same as being here right now.

"It is devastating, as Julia said."

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