Report: Virus Puts Millions of Jobs at Risk; Economist Predicts ‘5 Digit’ Losses in NC

Report: Virus Puts Millions of Jobs at Risk; Economist Predicts ‘5 Digit’ Losses in NC

Report: Virus Puts Millions of Jobs at Risk; Economist Predicts ‘5 Digit’ Losses in NC

WRAL TechWire, March 17, 2020

North Carolina’s unemployment rate at the end of January was a scant 3.6 percent. But that figure is about to grow higher as the coronavirus hits the state’s economy. NC State University economist Mike Walden said the previously record-low jobless rate is the rare glimmer of hope amid otherwise dire news. “The only good aspect is these losses will be starting from a very strong job base,” Walden says. “Of course, how long this lasts depends on the virus, but the worst case scenario suggests major improvement won’t be until the fall.” National forecasts are alarming. Moody’s Analytics fears 80 million US jobs could face some level of risk – more than half of the nation’s total employment. Those working for small firms are especially vulnerable. “I think large companies are going to be slower to lay off,” said Moody’s Chief Economist Mark Zandi. “They are going to try to get through this. But a lot of these small businesses don’t have the cash to weather the storm.”

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