Mnuchin: Jobless numbers likely to worsen as shutdowns linger

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the jobless numbers in the United States “are probably going to get worse before they get better,” but the bigger risk to the country is keeping businesses’ closed rather than states allowing some to reopen.

Mnuchin spoke as most states begin to loosen their restrictions on businesses after extended shutdowns designed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. He says that if re-openings are not allowed it would have permanent economic damage to the American public.

Another 3.2 million U.S. workers applied for jobless benefits last week, bringing the total over the last seven weeks to 33.5 million.

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Mnuchin says that increased testing and the prospect of better treatments will give businesses and workers the confidence to reopen in a careful way. He says, ”you are going to have a very, very bad second quarter. And then I think you’re going to see a bounce-back from a low standpoint.”

Mnuchin spoke on Fox News Sunday.

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