The catastrophic collapse in U.S. employment due to the coronavirus crisis demands far more from the federal government than it has done so far.

Nearly 17 million Americans filed for unemployment in just the three weeks ending April 4. And analysis by the research center INET Oxford predicts that without urgent action, 24% of U.S. jobs could be lost in coming weeks — compared with just 3.3% during the 2007-2009 recession. That kind of job loss would be equal to the worst years of the Great Depression and would mean more than 37 million Americans are out of work. The impact will be felt most severely by low-income workers.

The goal, until it is safe for people to return to work, must be to maintain the economy in “sleep mode.” That will require keeping businesses and workers as intact as possible, ready to “wake up” and return to work when the health crisis passes, in order to drive a strong recovery. How? The federal government must immediately guarantee the paychecks of all Americans for the duration of the crisis.


Soros, G. & Beinhocker, E. (2020). 'Op-Ed: George Soros: Guarantee paychecks for all workers displaced by coronavirus to save the economy'. Los Angeles Times, 13th April 2020. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-04-13/op-ed-george-soros-explains-how-to-keep-the-economy-from-tanking-during-the-coronavirus-pause
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