Amid milestone unemployment, economist says we can recover

There's another grim milestone for America -- tens of millions are now out of work and millions more jobs are at risk.

There is now a backlog of unemployment claims here in Michigan and across the country.  Since the virus hit, well over 16 million Americans have filed for unemployment. 

The numbers show a job market that is quickly unraveling with these statistics representing the largest and fastest job losses since 1948.

The Covid-19 pandemic has sidelined many workers who are not deemed essential, resulting with one in 10 across America now out of work.

Forty-eight states including Michigan have closed non-essential business, 50 million jobs vulnerable to coronavirus-related layoffs - that's a third of all jobs in the US.

RELATED: Michigan confirms another 117 deaths, 1,158 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday

FOX 2: "Should we just be looking at the jobless figures and the unemployment claims other important metrics as we look for the health of our economy?"

"This leading measure is unemployment claims, at some point we will be looking at the continuing claims, but also there are other numbers in the economy overall because there is hiring that will get softened as well," said Elise Gould. "It is not just about those people who have lost their jobs - it is also people who haven't been hired that might have been hired."

Gould is a senior economist with The Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank tracking the figures, describes the unemployment figures this way. 

"That's like if the entire adult population of Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota combined had applied for unemployment insurance the last three weeks."

Some economists suggest more than 20 million Americans may lose jobs this month. One third of the economy's output obliterated by the needed reaction to coronavirus.

"I think we'll bounce back, it is really up to policy makers to try and make that happen. So far we have seen some relief measures to help workers try to weather this storm."

The Federal Reserve will provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to further support the economy and a more than $2 trillion relief package - the largest in history- was passed by Congress.

"It really remains to be seen if policy makers will come back and add a phase four package together to provide additional aid particularly additional aid to states and localities."

Some economists predict the unemployment rate could hit 15 percent when the April employment report is released in early May. That number could increase as states get to backlogged filings.