A “Pity Party” About Unemployment? Seriously?

The April jobs report showed the U.S. labor market falling off a cliff, as have the past seven weeks of weekly initial unemployment insurance claims data. A more aggressive federal policy response is desperately needed. Now, a full pendulum swing away from constructive policymaking, economist and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is publicly bemoaning a “pity party” in reporting about the rising unemployment rate:

Concerns about the rise in unemployment are very much merited, and in no way amount to hand-wringing. Navarro’s correct that certain comparisons with the Great Depression are misplaced, but trivializing double-digit unemployment is eerily reminiscent of the Hoover Administration’s playbook, something about liquidating labor…

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