While the nation continues to struggle with millions of people pushed out of work, because of reaction to the pandemic, a new report suggests the job-losses are the worst of a generation.
The United Nations International Labor Organization report says pandemic job losses are four times worse than losses during the global financial crisis. For the hundreds of millions of people left looking for work, globally, there can be a personal sense of frustration.
Pam Brown, of Houston, is among them. She was laid-off in late 2018. Since she's been out of work, so long, unemployment figures don't even count her. While she's spent time re-educating herself for some new skills that she'd love to use, the pandemic stopped her job search in its tracks as employers froze hiring.
"It's been frustrating as well as depressing, at the same time," says Brown, "You just don't know what direction to go."
Houston financial analyst, Rich Rosso, is not surprised by the current unemployment picture.
"This is job-destruction, more than unemployment," he says.
The UN findings suggest global restrictions on businesses and public life destroy the equivalent of 255 million jobs, worth $3.7 trillion dollars in lost income. Rosso believes the pandemic accelerated corporate cost-cutting moves, that were already happening.
Meantime, the nation's massive service sector was left with few to service, as people stayed home.
Rosso believes getting those jobs back will be difficult, and taking care of people who aren't able to work will be expensive.
"We don't want to talk about this, yet, because it's not politically correct to do so," says Rosso, "There is going to be this ongoing extension of these social-safety nets because of what we're witnessing in the damage in jobs."
The UN report suggests job-creation will bounce back in the second half of the year, if the virus can be controlled. Pessimists are not so sure, imagining a much longer process of getting all those people back into a much smaller workforce.