Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen believes that unemployment may go to depression levels “for a time.”
In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Yellen called the initial jobless claims “absolutely shocking” and said the unemployment rate is likely at 12% or 13% and moving higher.
“I think the toll is continuing to rise and how bad it gets, I think it really depends on how quickly people can get back to business,” Yellen said.
Yellen also said that the focus should be on testing and getting the pandemic under control.
Here's what Yellen said when she was asked about US employment:
"Well I think that unemployment rates for a time may go to depression levels, but this is very different from the Great Depression or the recession US economy that we experienced in 2009 and after. This is, we started with an economy that was in good shape, with a financial sector that was basically sound and this is a health crisis. It is having severe economic effects but if we are successful in supporting people’s incomes during this time that the government can be, I believe that we’ll be able to get back to a normally functioning economy in much shorter order that during the Great Depression, after the Great Depression or after the Great Recession."