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Vox: Why we’re seeing mass layoffs in the US but not the UK

May 5, 2020
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Vox: Why we’re seeing mass layoffs in the US but not the UK. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs in the coronavirus lockdowns. But it didn’t have to be that way, and it’s not too late for the US to change course.

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Few Americans alive today have ever seen jobless numbers as bad as they are right now. At the end of April 2020, economists estimated that between 13 and 18 percent of US workers were unemployed. It’s the highest rate since the Great Depression. That figure can seem somewhat inevitable; the unfortunate but unavoidable cost of economic lockdown. It’s why, in response, Congress has prioritized shoring up unemployment insurance benefits. But a handful of European countries have shown that mass unemployment isn’t a given in a situation like this. It’s a policy choice. In this video, we explain how and why the UK, Denmark, and the Netherlands chose a different path. With the help of economist Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute, we explore whether the US can still avoid millions more job losses.

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