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701k Jobs Lost in March 2020: Statement by Iain Murray

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In response to today's abysmal jobs report tallied by the federal government – 701,000 jobs lost in March as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns. Another telling figure: ten million people filed for unemployment benefits in the past two weeks. CEI Senior Fellow Iain Murray warns things will get worse before they get better.

“These cataclysmic numbers were expected and are a direct result of the precautions necessary to avoid overwhelming the health system. Experts cannot simply recommend the usual measures to reverse job losses in these extraordinary circumstances. In a pandemic, we must focus all resources on stopping people from getting sick and dying. One crucial thing government can do is get rid of the red tape and bureaucracy in the way of effectively combating COVID-19.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg given that the figures were collected mid-month. Whole sectors of industry, such as entertainment and hospitality, are seeing their jobs wiped out. Next month’s figures will be far worse. Until the virus is contained, there is very little prospect of the nation getting back to work. Policy makers face a choice between two politically unacceptable outcomes - huge numbers of deaths or huge numbers of job losses. There is no middle ground.”

CEI is continuing to compile and solicit a list of #neverneeded regulationsthat government can get rid of to help businesses reboot and innovate.