Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — almost five times the previous record set in 1982 — amid a widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus.
Zachary Cohle, assistant teaching professor of economics, is available to discuss the issue by telephone.
“We have seen a huge increase in the amount of unemployment in just the last two weeks,” Cohle said. “Businesses are unable to sell their products or services. Therefore, many firms are laying off workers. This was expected and is being controlled for by the recent government stimulus package, which promises an overhaul of the unemployment benefits system.
“Specifically, workers will be allowed to stay on unemployment benefits for a longer period of time than they usually could in the past,” he added. “Usually unemployed workers can earn back a portion of their last salary. The stimulus package seeks to allow workers to gain their full salary initially from the state.”
To arrange a telephone interview with Cohle, contact John Pettit, associate director of public relations, at 203-415-7370 (cell).
Cohle received his master’s degree and doctorate in economics from the University of Florida. He also has a bachelor’s in economics with a concentration in mathematics and philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh.
“The unemployment rate is most likely around 10 percent right now,” Cohle added. “We expect to see higher unemployment as even more businesses lay off workers as the lockdowns across the country continue. We could even see an unemployment rate around 30 percent in the near future. There is a push to protect these workers, but we need to focus on creating more jobs after the lockdowns are over. Workers can only be unemployed for so long. Economic recovery for businesses will be key to getting the economy back on track in the future,”
Cohle has been published in journals such as the Southern Economics Journal and the Journal of Industry, Competition, and Trade. He joined Quinnipiac in fall 2017.