Experts warn of mental health fallout from mass US unemployment

The Guardian

By Lauren Aratani

April 3, 2020

In just two weeks, more than 9.95 million Americans have applied for unemployment – smashing all records. Economists are predicting the unemployment rate could rise as high as 30% as the pandemic sweeps across the country.

Those hardest hit are likely to be the poorest, including many people of color, and those who benefited least from the last economic boom.

“With a 30% national unemployment rate, the impact will be devastating for everyone. But it will be particularly crushing for black Americans,” said William Darity, a professor of economics at Duke University and co-author of a study that found black Americans with no history of mental health diagnoses were more likely to have depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder during the 2007-09 Great Recession.

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