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White House adviser Kevin Hassett on Friday predicted June could mark a turning point for the nation's unemployment rate after another brutal jobs report in May.
"We're going to get another bad May number that'll probably be an unemployment rate in the 20 percent range, maybe a little more," Hassett told FOX Business' Stuart Varney. "I expect that June will be the trough, and then we'll start heading back up."
Unemployment in the U.S. is already at the highest level since the Great Depression, a remarkable sign of the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but economists have warned the full impact of the crisis on the labor market might not be seen until later this year.
"As the people sort of roll back in, I think to get jobs moving in the right direction, it's just going to take a little bit longer," Hassett said.
In April, the Labor Department provided one of the first comprehensive looks at the economic impact of the virus outbreak and subsequent stay-at-home measures adopted by states to slow its spread. Employers cut 20.5 million jobs in the one-month period, according to the data, pushing the unemployment rate to 14.7 percent.
But economists say it’s likely the April jobs report, which relied on surveys conducted in the early weeks of the month, did not show the full extent of the labor market's destruction at the hands of the virus outbreak.
Since the nation's economy came to a near standstill in mid-March, 38.6 million Americans have filed for first-time unemployment benefits, meaning the jobless rate will likely increase in May, even as some states begin to ease stay-at-home guidelines.
The government collected its data for the May jobs report in the beginning of the month including May 12.
A recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland estimated the unemployment rate will reach its max in May before gradually declining, ending the year at roughly 7.5 percent.