GR US

The Good News on Unemployment - For Now

Αssociated Press

In this May 7, 2020, photo, the entrance to the Labor Department is seen near the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Finally, there is some positive news: the U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in June, reducing unemployment to 11.1%.

Let's not underestimate the importance of this, as I see some major American media outlets doing. This is an important development. These are millions of human lives that can breathe again.

Agreed, an unemployment rate of 11.1% is still at the levels of the Great Depression. It is unacceptable.

Agreed, tens of millions of people are still unemployed as a result of the storm of the Coronavirus that swept everything away.

However, one should not look at this situation with political eyes only – because this transcends politics. Objectively speaking, June was a good month given the current circumstances.

But the unemployment rate will not continue to go down this month. In July, the unemployment rate will rise again.

And the reason for this is that coronavirus cases are rising. On July 1, there were 50,000 new Coronavirus cases in the U.S. – more than ever!!! This is causing a pause in the lifting of measures and the opening of the economy in many states. This will increase unemployment again.

And, unfortunately, one area that is particularly hard hit by these measures is the food industry, the branch of the economy in which many Greek-Americans work, as is well-known: restaurants, coffee shops, Greek food importers, etc.

The impact on them is particularly negative. How long can this industry afford to stay closed? How long can our people, staff and owners, hold out?

Some of them have found various creative ways to work: with take-out orders and setting up tables on the sidewalks.

That's something. But it’s not enough. That's not how wages, rents, and profits are generated.

And now, several governors, including the governor of New York, are saying that because of the escalation of Coronavirus infections in other states, many restaurants will not be able to serve inside their premises in the foreseeable future as planned

That will cause a lot of pain.

It is certainly very difficult to balance the economic damage on the one hand with the need to protect the health of the citizens on the other.

And, of course, the impact on our community will be significant.

Our people will find it difficult to maintain all the institutions – the Church, etc. – that they support

It is unbelievable that America is in this situation. It is unfathomable that before the first phase of the pandemic was over, we entered into another, even worse period.

Obviously our government did not do its job well.

It put ‘the cart before the horse’ - politics before public health.

That's why we are paying a very high price.

So let's hope a drug, or even better, a vaccine is found as soon as possible.

To get us out of this nightmare.