Mar 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

Economists see job losses of 5 million or more

A line of cars waiting to get tested for the coronavirus

Philadelphia's coronavirus testing site next to Citizens Bank Park. Photo: Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP

The coronavirus downturn could cost 5 million or more U.S. jobs, with a loss in gross domestic product of $1.5 trillion, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: "A recession is now all but certain," according to a Wall Street Journal survey of 34 economists, which projects a downturn that would last months at least, and would in some ways rival—and possibly even surpass—the severity of the 2007-09 slump triggered by the housing collapse and subprime loan debacle."

The context: "[T]he economy lost more than 8 million jobs in the recession that began in December 2007. The unemployment rate climbed from 4.4% in 2007 to a peak of 10% in 2009."

Illinois and New York state joined California yesterday in ordering all residents to stay in their homes unless they have vital reasons to go out, restricting the movement of more than 70 million Americans — roughly 1 in 5, AP reports.

  • The lockdowns encompass the three biggest cities in America — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Go deeper: The coronavirus economic pain in the U.S. has begun

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