Goolsbee, Perez: Unemployment Crisis Is Not “Joyous”

On a press call today, Austan Goolsbee, professor of economics at the University of Chicago and former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, and Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez discussed an unemployment crisis that has been severely worsened because of Trump’s broken promises and delayed response to the coronavirus.

University of Chicago economics expert and former CEA chairman Austan Goolsbee:

“It looks like for the United States, the mistake dates to December, January, February, and the confronting the early part of the crisis. In the employment space and the economy, it didn’t have to be this way. If we had simply managed the disease as well as other countries did, we could have had between 14 and 24 million Americans still at work.”

“One month or two months of rebound, if they do not get us back to the levels that we were before this crisis began, they’re not a triumph. They’re not ‘joyous.’ We cannot say that we are succeeding until we have at least gotten ourselves back to where we were before the crisis began. And when you look across the 14 major sectors that the Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of employment in those categories, all 14 are down dramatically from where they were just three months ago.”

DNC Chair Tom Perez:

“These numbers are heartbreaking, but they shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing as this president, again, was repeatedly warned about the pandemic, but did nothing to stop it. And he delayed his response because in January and February, he wanted to get a trade deal with China. … He promised that China would make more than $200 billion in additional purchases of U.S. goods. But that’s nowhere close to what’s happening. He got played by China, and he put his reelection politics over the public health.”

“Just as African Americans can’t breathe under the weight of police brutality, so they can’t breathe under the weight of this president’s massive failure of leadership during this pandemic and the economic crisis that this pandemic has brought us. African Americans are dying at far higher rates than white Americans and are three times more likely to know someone who has died of COVID-19 — and here we have the president of the United States talking about a ‘joyous’ jobs report. 13.3% — we haven’t seen these numbers since the Great Depression.”