WH Adviser: Unemployment Will Be In Double Digits By November Election

on October 25, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors Kevin Hassett testifies during a hearing before the Joint Economic Committee October 25, 2017. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
May 24, 2020 10:19 a.m.
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White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett shared a grim outlook on unemployment claims by the time of the November election during an interview on CNN Sunday morning.

After CNN’s Dana Bash mentioned that the Congressional Budget Office predicted that unemployment could still be at 9% at the end of 2021, she asked Hassett whether it’s possible for the number of unemployment claims to remain in double digits in November.

“Yes, I do,” Hassett said, before quickly adding that he thinks “all the signs of economic recovery” will be “raging everywhere.”

Hassett then argued that “the only thing” economists will debate about is whether the country will “get back to where we were” or if it will “be a long haul to get there,” before launching into an anecdote involving two of his friends who are Harvard professors.

Pressed again on whether unemployment claims will remain in the double digits by the time President Trump appears on the ballot in November, Hassett replied “yes” due to unemployment being “something that moves back slower” but that “it could be better than that.”

“You’re going to be starting at a number in the 20s and working your way down. So of course, you could still not be back to full employment by September or October,” Hassett said. “If there were a vaccine in July, then I would be way more optimistic about it.”

Watch Hassett’s remarks below:

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