US President Donald Trump's former Chief Economist has warned that a coronavirus-driven global recession is a virtual certainty and that April may rank among the labor market's worst months for job growth on record.
On net, the government's official jobs report could tally as many as 1 MN jobs lost in April as hiring grinds to a halt amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Kevin Hassett, former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors and current vice president and managing director of the Lindsey Group.
According to the reports, even in the depths of the Great Recession, the U.S. labor market didn't lose 1 MN jobs in a single month. Such a figure would be unprecedented in post-World War II America.
Some reports have emerged that layoffs have already begun in businesses across the country. Many workers don’t have an adequate financial backstop in layoff situations, experts said.
Half of U.S. adults expected to be living paycheck to paycheck this year and 53 percent did not have an emergency fund that covers at least three months of expenses, according to a financial planning survey conducted prior to the coronavirus outbreak by First National Bank of Omaha in Nebraska.
A new law signed earlier this year made New Jersey the first state to require large employers to pay severance during mass layoffs. The state mandates businesses pay a week of severance for each year of service, and that employers give 90 days’ notice — more than the federally mandated 60 days for some types of businesses. It applies to businesses with 100 or more full- or part-time workers laying off at least 50 people.
A large share, 90 percent of businesses pay some type of severance to their employees, according to a 2019 survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson. However, that figure masks wide variations in how employers treat different types of workers.