But wasn’t it supposed to be 20-30%, or even worse than Great Depression? What ever happened to that? Goes to show how the media is wrong. 15% is not even that high given how many businesses have been affected.
These economic numbers don’t really mean that much anyway. It’s mostly just noise. The same was observed in 2008-2099, in which there was a lot of whipsaw for a year or two, and then things stabilized thereafter. This data are very volatile and there has always been a large fraction of the US adult population that does not work or works off the books. An increasingly large percentage of US economic activity is moving online and to a handful or large corporations. What the shutdown and recession has done is displace a bunch of workers whose economic contributions were low to begin with. The net economic loss of these businesses closing, of these people not working is small relative to the important and growing sectors such as tech. This is why the stock market has not fallen that much. 10 clothing retailers, 10 restaurants, and 10 department stores closing can be replaced with Walmart, McDonald’s, dollar stores, and Amazon. These companies will hire some of the workers lost in this crisis, and the overall trend of job creation will likely remain intact even if a large percentage (40% or more) of the adult population not working. The high unemployment rate reflects the temporary transition to this new more efficient economy of fewer people working but GDP and multinational profits mostly unscathed.